COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police is finding more machine gun conversion devices, sometimes called switches.
So far this year they have taken 26 off the streets, according to a spokesperson for CPD. The devices can turn a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic weapon.
“It’s like a machine gun, what it comes out to be,” said Napoleon Bell, President of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.
The devices are small, illegal and police said they are dangerous for several reasons. They’re often called Glock switches, but Glock does not make them. Central Ohio Crime Stoppers shared video earlier this week of what investigators believe is one being used in a shooting.
“It was alarming to see and so that was something when there’s a weapon of this type that is out there and is being used and it’s on video, we definitely want to put all eyes on it and all eyes on the person that is using to hopefully get that person identified and get that weapon and that person taken off the street,” Bell said.
Bell said it’s the first time he’s seen one of the switches being used in a shooting on local surveillance video.
“If you’re holding it with one hand you see it in the video when he shoots that his hand is going all over the place and those bullets are flying wherever they land. You don’t know because you’re not really aiming at a target then,” he said. “It’s really just unfortunate someone has this in their possession and then also that they are using it to hurt and or kill someone.”
Three people were hurt in the shooting which happened in early March in the Hilltop. Police said the number of switches they’ve found so far this year is more than all of last year. During a recent operation, they said they recovered three.
“Those are something that we have been taking a specific look at trying to target and getting off our street because obviously it makes areas much more dangerous and it makes shootings much more violent,” Deputy Chief Robert Sagle said.
Anyone with information about the shooting in March or other crimes is asked to call Central Ohio Crimestoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).