The alleged shooter is the ex-boyfriend of victim Rebecca Jean Rogers

By Chris Harris
April 19, 2021 11:32 AM
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Police in Ohio say they have arrested the man who entered a Bob Evans restaurant Friday morning and then fatally shot a waitress.

Dispatchers fielded several 911 calls about an active shooting with multiple victims at the Bob Evans near Route 62 in Canton at about 9:30 a.m.

Officers arrived at the scene to find only one person had been attacked: Rebecca Jean Rogers.

The 38-year-old Canton resident was working at the time of the shooting, waiting on the 12 people dining inside.

Customers took cover under their tables during the shooting, according to Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo.

Angelo said officers were on the scene within minutes, but that the shooter had already fled out a back door.

Meanwhile, police found Rogers in the hallway of the restaurant, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Angelo said detectives quickly identified Richard James Nelson as the alleged shooter.

Nelson, 54, was identified by Angelo as Rogers' ex-boyfriend.

"There was a history of domestic violence in their past," Angelo alleged. "Far too often, domestic incidents lead to tragedies like this."

Officers spent much of Friday searching for Nelson.

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At around 8:30 p.m., police tracked Nelson to East Canton, where he was detained.

He has been charged with aggravated murder, but has not yet entered a plea to that charge.

Information on his attorney was unavailable.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched online to help with funeral costs, with the remainder earmarked for Rogers' children.

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. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.