UPDATE: Neighbors recall Hockingport standoff

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HOCKINGPORT, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 1/30/20 7:15 p.m.

Photo courtesy: MGN

A Hockingport man died Wednesday night after a shootout with law enforcement.

It was a frightening evening for neighbors.

“I saw sparks from a gun, then I called 911 and told them. The officer that answered the call told me they had already responded to it and they already had a perimeter set up, and we didn’t know what all was happening,” said Zahra Wagoner, a neighbor.

41 year old Chad E. Nicolia had been in a domestic dispute with his wife earlier in the evening. According to a press release, Athens County Sheriff’s Deputies met the wife on route 124, not far from the couple’s Jetstar Drive home.

Deputies took the wife back to their home so she could get her things. It was during this time Chad Nicolia pulled a gun on deputies and his wife.
Deputies safely backed out of the home with the wife, from there, a lengthy standoff occurred.

The Athens County Special Response Team arrived on scene around 9 p.m. with an armored vehicle and negotiators who spent several hours trying to get Nicolia to peacefully exit the home.

Shots were fired.

“It seemed like the gunfire lasted about 45 minutes,” said Wagoner.

He fired on authorities and in the direction of other homes.
Authorities deployed gas to flush Nicolia out, but with no luck.

Eventually an Athens County SWAT team member fatally shot Nicolia.
For the widow, the aftermath is devastating.

“She is a broken woman at this moment. Her house has been completely destroyed. We have removed the mess, so to speak. Almost every window in her house is busted out and during the gunfire the electrical box has been damaged. Multiple shots to it, so there’s no electric in the house and all the windows are busted,” said a family friend named Arlene.

Law enforcement officials say they are not pursuing charges against the widow.

“No way, there’s no chance the widow will be charged with any criminal offense whatsover, furthermore, she’s not at fault for anything, it’s just an unfortunate situation,” said Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith.

No officers were injured in the firefight.

“No one was injured and it is protocol that anytime an officer is involved in a shooting that there’s three days they get to kind of recoup,” said Sheriff Smith.


Athens County authorities shot and killed a man who fired multiple shots toward officers during an hourslong standoff Wednesday night in Hockingport.

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith confirmed to WTAP Wednesday morning that Chad E. Nicolia, 41, of Jetstar Drive, Hockingport, was killed during an exchange of gunfire with members of his department's special-response team.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in and is handling the investigation.

The standoff began about 7:30 p.m. when deputies responding to a report of a domestic dispute tried to help a woman retrieve some of her belongings from the residence.

In a news release, Smith said that's when Nicolia pointed a gun a officers and the woman, forcing them to retreat.

A special-response team arrived about 9 p.m. and began talking with Nicolia to try to get him to come out peacefully, but during those negotiations Smith said he became increasingly agitated and fired multiple gunshots toward officers who had surrounded the home.

As talks continued, Smith said officers used tear gas to try to get him to come out of the residence. But a shootout ensued, and Smith said that's when Nicolia was killed by officers.

We'll have more information online and during WTAP News at 5 and 6 as more information becomes available.