Capt. Michael Medders Jr., the son of Elyria Police Chief Michael Medders and a former Avon Lake High School football star, was killed while in Iraq.
The details surrounding the death of the 2001 Avon Lake graduate still haven’t been released by the U.S. Department of Defense, but Elyria police Capt. Daniel Jaykel said the Elyria Police Department learned of Medders’ death Thursday and is reeling from the loss.
“It’s like part of our family dying,” he said. “Our deepest sympathies go out to Chief Medders, his wife and their family for the loss of their son. It hits home so hard, we’re almost in a daze here because of it.”
Medders Jr. played varsity football for Avon Lake High School and was named to the All-Ohio first-team before moving on to play at Walsh University of North Canton.
His father, who declined to comment for this story, had said in May that his son was so determined to join the military following the Sept. 11 attacks that the family had to convince him to stay in school and get his degree.
Medders Jr. transferred to Bowling Green State University, where he majored in business and communications before graduating in 2005, and then entered the U.S. Army.
Medders Jr. served with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Squadron 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based out of Fort Hood, Texas.
In May, as a 26-year-old Army lieutenant, he suffered a concussion when a roadside bomb exploded near the vehicle in which he was riding.
Elyria Mayor Bill Grace said Thursday he knew Medders Jr. from his dealings with his father and will always remember how the chief spoke so fondly of his only son.