Bystander accidentally shot in Merion Village Sunday, witnesses say incident was racially motivated

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– A 56-year-old woman was taken to the hospital Sunday night after being shot in Merion Village. Police say she was an innocent bystander in a crime that may have been racially motivated.

Columbus Division of Police officers were called to the 1400 block of Parsons Ave. around 8:45 p.m. where they found the victim, Paula Woods, shot in the arm. She is expected to be okay.

CPD says officers were able to determine from Woods, security video, and witness statements that there was some kind of dispute between individuals seen in a white Ford F-150 and two black males walking through a parking lot. 

Woods was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Witnesses say it may have been racially motivated, with the driver of the truck yelling a racial slur, “The two men they were going to their car, and this white truck, came out of nowhere, and called them ‘expletive’” said Netta Habern. She was in the parking lot and saw the encounter. 

Police say one of the walking males busted the driver side window out of the truck. The driver of the truck stopped, exited the vehicle with a shotgun and fired one time in the direction of the two males, officers say. Adding that the gunshot missed the males and hit the woman.

Right now it’s not clear if police will be investigating this as a crime, right now the investigation is open. Police are working to identify the driver, and would like to talk to the two males involved. 

This incident is still under investigation, anyone with information is asked to contact the Columbus Police Assault Unit at 614-645-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 614-645-(TIPS)

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