String Of Robberies End In Police-Involved Shooting

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Police say a month-long investigation of at least a dozen robberies in the City of Columbus ended Wednesday night with a shooting behind a Family Dollar store on South James Road.

SWAT officers opened fire and shot a suspect accused of robbing the store.

Police say the suspect and four others are connected to a dozen robberies across Columbus over the past month.

Columbus police said the robberies included two carryouts -- a BP gas station on 17th Avenue and a Convenient Plus on Frebis Avenue last week while wearing skull masks.

Police say the SWAT officers were tracking the group of three 17-year-old boys, 23-year-old Kayron Watkins, and 30-year-old Lakisha Watkins on Wednesday night, when they allegedly robbed the Family Dollar.

Police say detectives watched as they went into the store, robbed it, left with cash, and returned to their get-away car on South Kellner Road.

Columbus Police Sergeant Rich Weiner says one of the 17-year-olds got out of the car with a gun. Sgt. Weiner says that is when a SWAT officer opened fire and struck the alleged robber.

Now, police say part of their investigation is to figure out how the group chose their path of crime.

"We've been tracking these robberies. We've been talking about these robberies and we were finally able to get a break a piece of information. A tip, and by working that tip, it led us to what happened tonight," said Sgt.Weiner.

Police say stolen cash from the Family Dollar robbery was found inside the get-away car along with another gun.

The alleged juvenile robber is in critical condition at Grant Medical Center.

Police say all five people arrested on Wednesday night have been charged with aggravated robbery.  More charges could follow.

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