A waitress at a Bob Evans was fatally shot by her ex in front of customers and co-workers, police say.
On Friday, dispatchers fielded several 911 calls about an active shooting with multiple victims at the Canton, Ohio, eatery at about 9:30 a.m.
Police say officers arrived within minutes, but suspect Richard James Nelson — also identified by outlets as James Nelson — had fled through the back exit. At the scene, authorities found one victim, employee Rebecca Jean Rogers, 38, in the hallway of the restaurant, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Rogers was taken to Mercy Hospital, where she eventually died from her injuries.
Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo said Nelson is "a former boyfriend of the victim, and there was a history of domestic violence in their past."
"Domestic violence is a dangerous thing and you need people need to take it seriously because far too often domestic incidents lead to tragedy like this and that’s nothing that anyone wants to see," Angelo said.
Angelo added that the dozen or so other people in the restaurant at the time of the shooting were not injured, and that “the customers took cover under tables.”
According to WKYC, Nelson was apprehended Friday evening following an 11-hour manhunt. He was arrested and charged with aggravated murder.
On Tuesday, WKYC reported that Nelson appeared in court where he pleaded not guilty to his charges. He is being held on a $2-million bond.
A status hearing has been set for April 22. It is unclear if Nelson has retained a lawyer.
According to a sign on the restaurant's front door, the Bob Evans where the incident took place will remain closed until April 22.
Our condolences go out to Rebecca’s family and loved ones for their loss.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential.