COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One person was injured after an exchange of gunfire between a person police are calling a suspect, a Columbus police officer, and a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy following a crash on the city’s west side Wednesday night.
According to Columbus police, officers responded to the scene of the accident on West Broad Street just west of the I-270 South exit at approximately 8:59 p.m.
According to Columbus Police Sgt. James Fuqua, one of the vehicle’s occupants was standing on the side of the road while officers investigated the scene. The person then started to run away, with officers giving chase.
“Whatever was stated between officers and deputy and suspect, the suspect took off on foot,” Fuqua said. “A brief foot pursuit ensued where the suspect discharged a gun at the officer and the deputy.”
Witnesses told police that after the suspect “fired more than one shot,” a Columbus police officer and a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy returned fire. A gun was found on the suspect, now identified as Brandon R. Johnson, 30, according to police.
Johnson was taken to Grant Medical Center in stable condition for a gunshot wound to the lower body.
“Thankfully, they’re definitely both OK,” Fuqua said of the officer and the deputy. “This is just a reminder that there’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop, there’s no such thing as a routine anything in patrol because these officers were simply just trying to help citizens that were stranded motorists in their eyes and it’s the end of their shift and they’re just trying to do the right thing and unfortunately, we will have people in society who have absolutely no respect, not only for law enforcement but they have no respect for human life, not even their own. That they’re willing to go out and do reckless and ignorant things like firing a firearm at an officer, it’s absolutely unnecessary. The violence has to stop.”
Police are not sure if any of the other occupants in the vehicles involved in the accident were injured.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been called in to investigate the incident.
Fuqua said a bookbag was retrieved between the scene of the crash and where the suspect was taken into custody. It is unknown at this time to who the bag belongs to.
According to police, additional charges will be filed against Johnson by the FCSO.