COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Police Chief Elaine Bryant on Monday addressed a violent weekend, with two shootings happening nearly simultaneously in one of the city’s busiest nightlife districts.
Ginther and Bryant took to a podium shortly after 3 p.m. for a news conference at the Columbus Division of Police headquarters. The chief confirmed the first shooting happened at 2:33 a.m. Saturday at 624 N. High St.
As multiple officers responded to that area, she said a second “explosion of gunfire” rang out at 847 N. High St. Three officers there were trying to break up a fight involving multiple people on the sidewalk, and returned fire, hitting at least one person. Now labeled a police shooting, the chief added that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation would be reviewing the case as well.
“Which means there’s information we don’t have access to,” Bryant said.
Between the two crime scenes on High Street, Columbus police documented 10 people between 18 and 27 years old were shot. Bryant said investigators didn’t know which of the two shootings each had been struck at because several left the scene and showed up at local hospitals. The victims are all expected to survive.
While one officer at 847 N. High St. was on special duty and not wearing a camera, Columbus police shared bodycam recordings of the shooting from officers Carl Harmon and Jacob Velas during the conference. The chaotic scene on display included the three officers spraying mace as they tried to break up a fight near a United Dairy Farmers’ storefront — where a previous 2022 shooting took place as well.
On Tuesday morning, police confirmed that Officer Ian Mansperger was also involved in the shooting and was working special duty when the incident occurred.
NBC4 has an edited version of the body camera recording from the fight below. Viewer discretion is advised.
The officers’ cameras whipped around as gunfire rang out across the street. Each officer moved across the street and fired multiple shots. From there, Velas and Harmon’s cameras showed them each tending to a man and a woman suffering from gunshot wounds. The video showed Mansperger kicking a firearm away from the man before Harmon placed him in handcuffs.
NBC4 has an edited recording of the police shooting below. Viewer discretion is advised.
In total, Bryant said investigators recovered 11 firearms from the Short North shootings. While not making any mention of a suspect or arrest at the 624 N. High St. shooting, she added that emergency crews took the man at 847 N. High St. to a local hospital before he was taken into custody.
“This was an extraordinary event with a very large scene, with a large number of individuals involved,” Bryant said.
Police shut down the stretch running through the heart of the Short North for nearly 12 hours as they and BCI agents combed the area. While happening just a six-minute walk from each other, Bryant said it was not clear if the two incidents were connected.
Ginther took the podium after the bodycam video played, highlighting the number of firearms involved.
“We need lawmakers to step up and help us get illegal guns off our streets. 11 firearms just at this one incident,” Ginther said. “If these people are unwilling to address this nation’s growing gun crisis, then we have a simple request: get out of our way. Let us lead at the local level to enact basic, commonsense gun safety legislation.”
Two other shootings happened as police investigated in the Short North. A South Linden shooting left a person dead and four others injured, while another in south Columbus left one dead.
Although few details surrounding the Short North shootings came out ahead of the news conference Monday, public figures in Columbus made statements in advance about the violent weekend. Ginther and Bryant both labeled it as a reverberation of changed gun laws in 2022 that now allow Ohioans to carry a weapon concealed without a permit.
“Clearly, clearly we have work to do,” Ginther said.