COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Law enforcement officials have released the identity of a suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a man at a south Columbus fast-food restaurant earlier this month.
Police said Eric Lanning, 14, is wanted in the shooting death of Christopher Mateen on Jan. 14.
Lanning has been charged with one count of murder and is believed to be armed and dangerous, police said.
According to police, officers responded to a McDonald’s restaurant on the 3500 block of South High Street at approximately 9:19 a.m. At the scene, officers found Mateen, 43, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to Grant Medical Center but was later pronounced dead. Police said Mateen was trying to recover his stolen car at the time of the shooting.
Napoleon Bell with Central Ohio Crime Stoppers said tips from the public are important for the city to solve crimes and give victims’ families the closure they deserve.
“It’s hugely important because as you think about it, if we have people from all over the city, all over the county, all looking for this person because, normally, somebody knows this person or has seen this person sometime and they call in that tip, then what that does is that brings community engagement,” he said. “That makes people feel safer because they know people are looking out for each other, but most importantly, they are helping get people off the street.”
Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or indictment of Lanning. Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers website and email a tip. All tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.
Photos of Lanning from a May 2022 arrest are below.