COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A man is dead and a Columbus police officer has been hospitalized after a shooting Wednesday morning on the city’s south side.
Sgt. Joe Albert said the officer was stable at Grant Medical Center about three hours after police responded to reports of a robbery at the Great southern shopping center in the Far South neighborhood. A 911 call of a robbery came in at 6:52 a.m., and a large police presence developed at a shopping plaza parking lot near the 100 block of Great Southern Boulevard.
Albert said a witness called 911 to report a robbery in progress at gunpoint. Multiple officers arrived less than two minutes later to the scene and engaged in gunfire with the armed suspect. Police recovered multiple firearms at the scene.
The officer shot was taken to Grant Medical Center with an injury to his lower extremities and was originally listed in critical condition.
The suspect involved in the shooting was pronounced dead at 7:21 a.m. at Grant Medical Center. Their identification will not be revealed until the next of kin has been notified. Another unidentified person was taken into custody for questioning.
All day Wednesday, Columbus Police officers were going in and out of Grant Medical Center to check on the officer. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the scene at Grant is unfortunately becoming all too familiar.
“For the second time in under a month I’m here at Grant hospital visiting one of our officers who has been shot,” Ginther said.
He calls what happened Wednesday morning unacceptable and that an attack on the city’s officers, who are in the streets to protect residents, is an attack on the city.
“Pray for this officer, his family for a full and speedy recovery,” Ginther said. “Pray for all of our officers that are serving our neighbors throughout this city. And if you have any information regarding this incident or other incidents, share that information with Crimestoppers.”
Columbus Division of Police First Assistant Chief LaShanna Potts said this is the 10th officer-involved shooting this year and the second since July that left an officer seriously injured. There have also been 106 assaults on Columbus police so far this year.
“If we can get the guns out of the hands of criminals, we wouldn’t be having this conversation every single week,” Potts said. “But unfortunately, until the laws change, this is where we will be.”
Potts said this situation is tough on everyone in the division.
“We were just in there talking to officers, reassuring them that the help that they need, the support that we’ve given them, we will continue to do so,” she said. “But we are also going to hold these criminals accountable. You are not going to shoot at our police officers and not face repercussions.”
No other injuries were reported to either the robbery victim or the other officers involved.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting, which is standard procedure with all officer-involved shootings.