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Chillicothe community members hold prayer vigil for Sgt. Kocheran

Community members gathered together to pray and support each other as they remain hopeful for Ross County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Eric Kocheran’s recovery.

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The Chillicothe community gathered together Sunday to support Sgt. Eric Kochran, who still remains in critical condition at Grant Medical Center, after being shot in the doorway of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office.

“Today, they said he was having a better day, you know they are worried about the liver because the bullet traveled right through the liver,” said Sheriff George Lavender of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office.

He said the moment the suspect approached the door, Kocheran had just taken off his bulletproof vest to wrap up for the day. Vest or no vest, Lavender said an event like this is traumatizing for everyone.

"To be in law enforcement now it's gotta be in your blood, and you know, I've been here 46 years and it's in your blood, but unfortunately with our area, with the way it is now, officer's blood is in the street and we gotta stop it,” he said.

Credit: WBNS-10TV

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He describes Kocheran as a big teddy bear and a stranger to no one.

Chief of Police Ron Meyers said in moments like this, officers have an eighth of a second to react, and Kocheran’s quick reaction saved many lives.

“We prepare every day to do what we do, active shooters, responding to hostile situations, but you just don't think it's going to happen at your back door, literally at your back door,” said Meyers.

Lavender commented on Kocheran's courage saying, when a bad situation did happen, he stood firm and didn't let anyone come into the office to harm others potentially. 

"He stood strong and did what he had to do to protect not only himself, but the brothers of this community, you know the brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” said Lavender.

RELATED: Suspect dead, deputy in serious condition after exchange of gunfire outside of Ross County Sheriff's Office

Dawn Leonard, the president of Police Wives of Ohio, said her group is working to get food and critical care packages to the family and other officers involved.

“We're here if you need anything, we can listen, we're here to listen, a shoulder to cry on and listen and let you know that you're not alone,” said Leonard, who understands how hard it is having a partner in uniform risk his life every day.

Now on high alert, law enforcement say the fight to protect the community doesn’t stop here as they continue to pray in hope for Kocheran’s recovery.

“My officers, and the sheriff's officers, they're not going to stop, they're going to keep coming to work, they're going to keep keeping everyone safe,” said Meyers.

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