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Police Identify Butler Officer Stabbed Before Shooting, Killing Suspect

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) - Police have identified the Butler officer who was stabbed multiple times before shooting and killing the suspect earlier this week.

Butler Police Chief Bob O'Neill released an update on the officer's condition Thursday. The injured officer was identified as Michael Sulerud, a Marine Corps veteran who has been with the department for 3 years.

officer Michael Sulerud
(Photo provided by Butler City Police Department)

Police say Sulerud is still in critical condition and is stable. After the alleged attack, he was flown to the hospital and underwent surgery.

"Chief O'Neill believes that Officer Sulerud is a man of great integrity and fortitude and requests for continued prayer during his recovery," said a statement from the department.

According to State Police, Butler City Police received a 911 call about a man who was acting erratically and jumping in and out of traffic on the 300 block of West Jefferson Street just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Police say Sulerud arrived and immediately encountered the man, identified as 35-year-old John Ebberts. Police say a struggle ensued and Sulerud was stabbed multiple times before he took out his gun, shooting and killing Ebberts.

Ebberts' husband Joe told KDKA he suffered mental health issues but was compassionate and loving. He said he wished it ended differently and Ebberts got the help he needed. He said he doesn't blame the officer for what happened but feels there should be more training on how to handle mental health cases.

State Police are investigating.

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