Kirkersville police

Kirkersville Police Chief Died Of Fentanyl Overdose

Jul 13, 2018
Kirkersville Police Cruiser
Debbie Holmes / WOSU

An autopsy shows the Kirkersville police chief fatally overdosed on the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Kirkersville Police Cruiser
Debbie Holmes / WOSU

The Franklin County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy on Kirkersville Police Chief James Hughes, Jr., who died unexpectedly last Friday at his home in Reynoldsburg.

Debbie Holmes

We originally ran this story in June 2017. We are republishing it now after the death of Kirkersville Police Chief James Hughes, Jr., who was the town's third chief in a year. 

This is the second of a two-part story on the aftermath of the Kirkersville shooting and the viability of police forces in small communities. Read part one here.

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

Kirkersville will now have to hire its fourth police chief in little over than a year.

James Hughes, Jr. died unexpectedly at his home in the Columbus suburb of Reynoldsburg on Friday night. He had served as the Kirkersville Police Chief for under two months, but reports of his criminal record and work history stirred up controversy among the village of 500.

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

After the shooting deaths of the Kirkersville Police chief and two others at a nursing home, the Licking County village spent months without a police force.

A year after the massacre, the nursing home has reopened and there's a new chief in town, but his criminal record and work history have divided the community.

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

The small Ohio village of Kirkersville unveiled a monument to its fallen police chief as a tribute on the one-year anniversary of the nursing home attack that left four dead.