COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – An off-duty officer was shot at early Friday morning, prompting the temporary closure of Interstate 71 North.

A portion of I71 North was closed after shots were fired at an off-duty officer (Courtesy/Ohio Department of Transportation)

Columbus police confirmed that just before 6 a.m. an off-duty officer was shot at while driving his KIA SUV to work on Interstate 70 eastbound towards I-71 North when he slowed down to let a silver SUV merge into the lane. At the same time a passenger in a black SUV, which occupied the opposite lane next to the officer, fired three shots at the officer’s car.

The driver’s side door and driver’s side rear passenger window were hit and then the black SUV fled northbound on I71. The officer was not injured during the incident.

Both exit ramps from I-70 to I-71 North were closed as well as I-71 North up to the Broad Street to I-670 and Main Street exits during the on-site investigation. The highway was reopened by 9:30 a.m.

Police are still searching for the black SUV and will have updates as they become available.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Columbus Police Felony Assault Unit at 614-645-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).