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Man arrested in shooting of Bob Evans waitress had history of domestic violence

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A waitress was shot multiple times Friday morning inside this Bob Evans restaurant and police are searching for the gunman.

CANTON – Richard J. Nelson is accused of walking into the Bob Evans at 9:30 a.m., going behind a counter and opening fire, shooting waitress Rebecca Jean Rogers, 38, multiple times in a back hallway.

Authorities say it was a domestic-related shooting. Nelson and Rogers had been in a relationship, but recently separated, Police Chief Jack Angelo said Friday. 

Nelson previously had been charged with felonious assault and domestic violence several times, but grand juries opted not to indict him in those cases.

Rogers was taken to Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital where she later died from her injuries. 

Rebecca Jean Rogers

Nelson, 54, fled the scene but was arrested around 8:30 p.m., southeast of East Canton. Angelo said a police dog nabbed Nelson following a foot chase. The U.S. Marshals Service, Stark County Sheriff’s Office and an air unit from the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in his capture.

What happened at the Bob Evans in Canton?

A Bob Evans employee who dialed 911 can be heard telling people to “get down, tell them to get down.” 

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