Woman facing federal charges in shooting of Columbus police officer

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A 68-year-old woman has been charged with shooting a Columbus Division of Police Officer, Thursday.  

According to a release from U.S. attorney David M. DeVillers, Rita Gray is facing federal charges after she allegedly shot and seriously wounded 53-year-old Columbus Police Officer Russ Weiner, while he was executing a search warrant at Gray’s residence on Chelford Drive.  

DeVillers says an affidavit sworn-out Friday morning in support of the federal criminal complaint, Gray, 68, told son Eric Gray in May 2019, “If you break any door in I’ma be standing in that hallway…I don’t care nothing about you hollerin’ police because a robber could be police.” 

“I’ll be standing right there in that hallway ready to blast. I’ll stand right around my corner there and blast however many shots I got,” Rita Gray added. 

According to the court document, agents and officers knocked on the door of the residence and announced their presence. After the knock and announce went unanswered, agents and officers made entry into the residence.  

When officers entered the residence, law enforcement executing the warrant took on gunfire from Rita Gray, who was present in the vicinity of an interior hallway, court documents state.  

Officials say Rita Gray was apprehended a short time later, with two semiautomatic Glock manufactured pistols nearby.         

In January 2020, state and federal law enforcement began an investigation into suspected drug trafficking, including irregular financial activity that is suspected of being related to money laundering and narcotics trafficking, involving Eric Gray, among others. That investigation remains ongoing. 

Rita Gray is charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and oxycodone, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted on all counts, she faces at least 20 years up to life in prison.  

Gray is scheduled to appear via videoconferencing today at 1:30pm for an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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