Ohio BCI is investigating after a Columbus police officer fired a gun on the Near East Side and hit a teenage suspect Saturday, sending him to the hospital.
Columbus police said the 17-year-old man who was shot has been upgraded from critical to stable condition and charges are pending against him and two other occupants of the car he was in.
At about 3:30 p.m., Columbus police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle at the intersection of East Main Street and Seymour Avenue on the city’s Near East Side, according to a release. Once the vehicle stopped, two men emerged from the back of the vehicle brandishing firearms.
An officer fired his weapon, hitting the 17-year-old, according to a statement. The other man fled the scene on foot. Officers pursued the man who fled on foot and arrested him in the 1500 block of East Mound Street. The 17-year-old was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in critical condition.
Police recovered firearms from both suspects.
Police did not identify the injured 17-year-old or the officer who shot him, but said in a release that they also arrested Najaa Ellman, 18, on pending charges and Dock Parker, 19, who was arrested on an unrelated warrant. Another occupant of the vehicle was extricated at the scene.
Karla Young was just about to pull out of her car onto Main Street when she saw a Columbus police officer chasing someone in her rearview mirror.
The Linden resident joined her friend Keisha Riley, who lives on the Near East Side, for an end-of-summer event at Riley’s Rock-of-Faith Baptist Church on East Main Street.
Young was disappointed as she shook her head, standing outside the yellow crime tape.
“We got a little crowded,” he said.
Fraternal Order of Police President Jeff Simpson said the officers involved in Saturday’s shooting have the union’s full support. He dismissed the idea that there have been significant tensions between Columbus police and the community over the department’s history of fatal police shootings.
Last week, Columbus police responded to another police shooting on the city’s West Side, where an officer fired his weapon at suspects at least once but did not injure anyone. BCI will not investigate the shooting because the suspects were not injured by gunfire.
The Ohio BCI, an arm of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, regularly investigates police shootings across the state and has overseen more than 40 investigations so far this year, including two fatal shootings in Knox County this month.
Young’s friend Keisha Riley, who lives just around the block on Mound Street, was thankful no one was killed. He knows all too well the impact of gun violence. Her 29-year-old son was shot and killed by a 16-year-old last year.
“It’s sad, I mean, I feel like we need to reach out to the parents of these kids,” Riley said. “I’m not against the police, and I think they would feel more encouraged if they knew that not everyone is against them, but they need to do more walking, meet more people (in the neighborhood).”
Mission reporters Ceili Doyle and Danae King contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared in The Columbus Dispatch: BCI investigating after non-fatal police shooting leaves one hospitalized