Officers, Ex-OSU Player Discuss Shooting

UPDATED: Friday May 23, 2008 1:24 PM

For the first time since they were wounded during a raid late last month, two Columbus police officers spoke with 10TV News on Wednesday about the case and the men accused of shooting them.

On April 30, police launched a raid at a suspected crack house on East Rich Street, located on the city's east side, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

SLIDESHOW: Images From Case

It was the third raid of the night for Columbus police.

Officer Tony Garrison said he was trying to make entry through the back door when a bullet came through and struck him in the arm.

"My wife's going to be upset," Garrison said. "That's the first thing that went through my mind."

Garrison said he remembered looking down at his wounded arm just as medics began to treat him.

"I was a little nervous," Garrison said, "When I saw all the blood pouring out before they clamped it off that made me a little nervous."

Meanwhile, another bullet from inside the home struck undercover narcotics Officer John Gillis in the leg. His wound was more serious, as the bullet struck a major artery, Kocot reported.

"I kept telling them I could get up and walk," Gillis said, "But I couldn't."

Both officers survived their wounds, thanks in part to fellow officers and medics who jumped in to help.

In recent years, 10TV has joined officers on similar raids throughout the city. Each time the raids were well planned and well announced. But in an exclusive jailhouse interview, one of the accused gunmen said he believed robbers were breaking into the house -- not officers serving a warrant.

"What I heard was a boom," said Derrick Foster. "Like somebody was trying to kick in the door."

Foster, who played football at Ohio State, told 10TV News that he never heard anyone identify themselves as police officers.

"The first reaction from everyone inside was we were being robbed," Foster said. "We're being robbed."

Foster admitted that he went to the East Rich Street house to gamble. He also said he brought his gun - which he had a license to carry - for self-defense.

"My whole mentality was, if there were robbers, I want them to know somebody's in here with a gun," Foster said. "Go away."

According to Foster, someone else inside the home fired the first shot.

"Whoever was outside fired back in, and that's when I un-holstered my gun and I fired two shots," Foster said. "Basically, I was firing two shots, like a warning shot."

For the past 13 years, Foster has worked for the City of Columbus. Prior to last month's raid, he had no run-ins with the law. He told 10TV that he wished he could go back in time.

"They feel like, hey, this guy's a criminal," Foster said. "I'm not that.  I'm not that -- and I want them to know I'm not that."

"I'm more remorseful than any person could ever be.  This is something that has to stick with me for the rest of my life."

Officers Garrison and Gillis did not comment on the pending court case, but said anyone who opens fire on another person needs to be held accountable.

"I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

Watch 10TV News and refresh for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

May 2, 2008: No Bond For Men Accused Of Shooting Officers
April 30, 2008: 2 Charged With Shooting Police Officers