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.
It was a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon — meant for the community celebration — marred by another shooting, he said.
Police Columbus. Joe Albert said an officer was involved in a shooting around 3:30 a.m. Saturday on the city’s Near East Side that resulted in a suspect being taken to a local hospital. Another person fled the scene on foot and was later apprehended around the block.
What we know about Saturday’s police shooting on East Main Street
Just a block from the church, a Columbus police cruiser pulled over a car full of people for a traffic stop Saturday afternoon at East Main Street and Seymour Avenue, Albert said. Within minutes, at least one officer shot a suspect, who was taken to Grant Medical Center.
That person was in stable condition Saturday afternoon, Albert said.
It’s unclear if someone in the car shot at an officer or if Columbus police fired first. Before the shooting, police called for backup, explaining an officer was in trouble, a dispatcher said. Albert said several weapons were found in the car and everyone in the vehicle is in police custody. He could not confirm how many people were involved.
Another person in the car bolted from the scene, and Columbus police chased them for several blocks before apprehending them on Mound Street — the same chase Young saw in her rearview mirror.
“We don’t have any more details right now,” Albert said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
The Near East Side community is reacting. The police union is defending the shooting
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.
Context:Why does this keep happening? Experts debate why Columbus has so many police shootings
“I think it’s a false narrative coming from the mayor’s office and the City Council,” he said.
Simpson acknowledged there were a lot of unanswered questions, but the presence of police on the Near East Side Saturday helped Rock-of-Faith Church continue its party and keep the community safe.
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 walk more, meet more people (in the neighborhood).
“We need to meet you,” Riley said.
This article originally appeared in The Columbus Dispatch: Suspect in stable condition. Police shootings on Columbus’ Near East Side