COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus Police Officer Steve Smith is married with two adult children. But he also has hundreds of brothers and sisters in law enforcement who are praying for his recovery.
Smith was shot during an hours long standoff off North High Street at California Avenue. Officers were serving an arrest warrant around 11:30pm Saturday when the suspect, 44-year-old Lincoln Rutledge refused to come out.
He is in critical condition at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Smith, 54, has been employed by the Columbus Division of Police for 27 years. His personnel file paints the picture of a highly trained officer with an exemplary record.
During his career he has worked on the streets as a patrol officer, in the air with the helicopter unit, in the water as part of the dive team and, most recently, as a sniper with SWAT.
In November of 2013, Smith was injured during a shootout in a parking lot near Easton. The SWAT team had confronted Danny Thornton, a murder suspect wanted for killing his ex-girlfriend and shooting a nine year old boy earlier that day. Smith was hit by shrapnel in the exchange of gunfire. For that incident, Smith was awarded a Blue Star and a Distinguished Service Medal.
In this shooting Sunday, sources say Smith was in the turret of a SWAT armored vehicle and that the shot that hit him was “one in a million.”
Rutledge was originally wanted on a felony arson warrant for a fire that was set on Saturday on Fairlawn Drive.
Finally, around 7:30am, Rutledge was taken into custody and to an area hospital.
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