Wisconsin man charged with murder for stabbing death of 66-year-old Indiana victim at Ohio Turnpike plaza

An incident at a turnpike plaza in eastern Sandusky County has turned into a standoff with law...
An incident at a turnpike plaza in eastern Sandusky County has turned into a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday evening.(WTVG)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 12:32 PM CDT
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CLYDE, Ohio (WOIO) - Investigators looking into the deadly stabbing incident that occurred on Tuesday at an Ohio Turnpike service plaza identified both the suspect and victim who died during the attack.

Thomas C. Conner, a 51-year-old resident of Beloit, Wisc., has been charged by the Sandusky County Prosecutor’s Office with murder in connection to the incident. He’s being held without bond.

Conner is accused of stabbing two people on Tuesday afternoon in an apparent random attack at the Erie Islands Service Plaza along the Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County.

Troopers and Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to the Ohio Turnpike plaza and found Conner openly wielding a knife in the parking lot.

The OSHP said a deputy shot Conner twice after he refused to comply with orders and charged at law enforcement with the knife. Less lethal attempts were made, but the efforts to stop Conner were initially unsuccessful.

Conner was eventually flown via helicopter to an area hospital for treatment.

While at the scene, two victims of Conner’s alleged attack were found.

David S. Diederich was one of the victims who was stabbed. Authorities said the 66-year-old man from La Porte, Ind., died at the scene.

A second victim, identified as a 53-year-old man from Delavan, Wisc. suffered life-threatening injuries at the time, but he has since been released from the hospital. Authorities said he actually lives approximately 25 miles away from the suspect in Wisconsin and said he has no connection to Conner; he was attacked while sitting in his work van eating.

Conner’s motive for the attack is not known at this time.

The homicide and assault investigation is being conducted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The deputy-involved shooting incident involving the armed suspect is being overseen by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

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