‘He’s trying to hit people.’ Columbus police helicopter tracks driver during wrong-way chase

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police released body and aerial video Tuesday showing exactly what led up to a wrong-way crash and fatal shooting on I-270.

The shooting happened along I-270 near Refugee Road on Friday afternoon. According to police, Andrew Teague, 43, was wanted on a felonious assault warrant from an incident that happened on Feb. 2. Teague was accused of shooting at his brother, according to court documents.

Police said Teague was originally pursued by Columbus police officers, but that pursuit was called off at the direction of supervisors. A short time later, Teague’s vehicle was spotted stopped on the shoulder of I-270 by a Franklin County deputy.

Helicopter video showed police tracking Teague’s vehicle for more than an hour, after vehicles on the ground were no longer actively pursuing.

The vehicle stopped in the area of I-270 and East Broad Street, and a deputy’s cruiser pulled up behind it. The driver then made a U-turn on the freeway and began going the wrong way.

“He’s going the wrong way on the freeway. Two county cars have engaged him,” said a member of the helicopter crew.

For the next couple minutes, dozens of vehicles dodged the wrong-way vehicle. The helicopter crew estimated Teague’s speed at 85 mph at one point. Sheriff’s office vehicles stayed around 100 yards behind.

“We’re disengaging. Hopefully, he takes an exit here or something,” radioed one of the pursuing officers, as the wrong-way vehicle passed over I-70.

A member of the helicopter crew remarked that it looked like the driver was making no attempt to avoid oncoming traffic.

“He’s trying to hit people,” the crewmember said.

After nearly three minutes of driving the wrong way, the chase ended with a crash in the area of Refugee Road. Teague’s vehicle struck two other vehicles before spinning to a stop. The helicopter crew called for a medic within seconds of the crash.

“He’s trying to get out of that car,” said an officer in the helicopter. “He’s trying to bail, he’s trying to bail.”

Video showed Teague running along the shoulder of I-270, now pursued by officers on foot. He went down moments after he appeared to take a shooting stance behind a car. The helicopter crew called for a medic 15 seconds after Teague fell to the ground.

In a news conference hours after the shooting, police said the suspect exchanged gunfire with officers. A gun was found near his body.

Body camera video showed the shooting from the perspective of Columbus Division of Police Officer John Kifer. Kifer arrived moments after the crash, following along from the other side of the freeway.

“Shots fired, shots fired,” Kifer yelled after getting out of his cruiser. He then ran across a bridge and took cover behind a vehicle. He fired five shots in the direction of Teague. Other shots were heard in the distance.

The investigation into the shooting is being handled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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