COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus police are determined to find those responsible for what they are calling “a hostile street takeover.”
Authorities responded to Indianola Avenue and East Cooke Road in Clintonville on April 29 after report of large crowds and cars doing donuts in the street, followed by a shoot out with police. Now, the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who turns in a tip leading to an arrest.
“This isn’t street racing, this is a street takeover,” said Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Elrico Alli. “This is people doing things that are extremely dangerous to themselves, to the people around them and to the public. So, we have to bring a stop to this.”
Police released body camera footage today showing officers surrounding the area preparing to engage. The video shows officers preparing to engage until the violence escalates. Officers then yell “They’re shooting at us, they’re shooting at us.” Bullets can also be heard zooming past the officers taking cover behind their cruisers.
“We do have persons of interest that we can’t share at this time because it is an ongoing investigation, but we do believe there were multiple people involved in firing at our police officers,” Alli said.
Police believe the incident was organized on social media given the hundreds of participants.
“Also, we know that they were being shot at but also what’s behind them: houses, family members. So not only were our officers under fire but the community was under fire,” said Napoleon Bell, the President of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.
“The division of police needs the help from the public and this is what we are asking for. So, if you were there and you saw something this is your chance to be anonymous, this is your chance to help with an investigation and this is your chance to put a stop to violent acts of aggression and people possibly being hurt or killed in something like this,” said Alli.
Police said those involved could face charges like felonious assault, attempted murder and assault of a police officer.
“My message to these individuals is simply turn yourself in, turn yourself in peacefully, turn yourself in right now,” said Brian Steel, the Executive Vice President of the FOP Capital Lodge 9.
Steel said this is the fourth incident in a couple months where officers have been shot at.
Crime stoppers is anonymous. Tips can be called in at 614-461-8477 or sent through the mobile app or website.