Parents of Girard officer shot and killed over the weekend say he was someone you could count on

Posted at 3:23 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 18:33:36-04

Justin Leo’s mom and dad said Girard, in Trumbull County, is a small town with a big heart, a place where people, like their son Justin, look out for people.

“We’re seeing the village is going to be here to say goodbye to our son," Justin's father David Leo said. "He was somebody who would, when they needed something you could count on Justin Leo to be there for them, we hope we instilled that in him."

Officer Leo was shot and killed during a domestic violence call Saturday night.

His partner shot and killed the gunman.

RELATED: Girard officer and suspect shot, killed while police responded to domestic violence situation

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund says domestic violence calls are the most dangerous, because emotions are running very high. Fifteen officers were killed in the U.S. last year responding to domestic violence calls.

Leo’s parents said they talked to their son about the dangers of police work.

“We had sat down and talked, we told him we knew that there could come a time where we would lose him, we just didn’t think it would be this soon, we thought there was more time we had with him, more that he could give,” said Justin’s mother Patricia Leo.

His mom said people are sharing stories about Justin’s kindness.

He had to give a speeding ticket to a woman who told him her husband was a disabled veteran and down on his luck.

But, it’s what Justin did next the woman remembered most.

“She said the next day he showed up and he had the money he had taken out of his account to give to her, to pay for the ticket. I guess he always believed you had to follow the rules, but when you didn’t agree with the rules there were ways you could fix it,” Patricia said.

His parents plan to honor his memory forever.

“We are going to set up a scholarship fund for him so a young person can get some education and know the kind of things that he did,” David said.

Officer Leo’s funeral will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Girard High School.