Columbus police said on Thursday that a man who was shot and killed died because of an officer's bullet.
Police on Tuesday morning responded to reports of a burglary at the Brentwood Lake apartments, located along the 700 block of Brooke Boulevard, near Brice and Tussing roads.
At some point during the response, 21-year-old Destin Thomas was shot to death. It was at first unclear if Thomas was struck by police gunfire or other possible gunfire reported during the incident.
The officers involved in the shooting were identified as 17-year-veteran William Kaufman and Billie Camp-Donovan, a 15-year veteran.
Thomas’ roommate, DelShawn Walker, said that he could not believe his friend was gone.
“I’m more so depressed than anything. One minute, I’ll be fine. The next minute, it’ll get to me. But as of now, the whole thing doesn’t seem real,” Walker said.
Walker said that the gunshots did not happen inside of his apartment.
“I went in and looked around, and there was no evidence of gunfire in the house at all,” Walker said.
Thomas’ cousin, Derek, said that he did not understand what happened.
“I (have) never heard someone call 911 in the first for their life, win the fight for their life, only to be shot by police,” Thomas said.
Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that when officers are faced with danger, they have to make split-second decisions.
“We’re always aware that the next five seconds could change everything and try to prepare our officers the best we can to handle what they’re confronted with,” Jacobs said.
Police said that a gun was recovered next to Destin Thomas’ body, outside of the apartment.
Whether Thomas held the gun or tried to use it was still under investigation.
“The face of the matter is my cousin never owned a gun. He was totally against it,” Derek Thomas said.
Police continued to search for one person in connection with an alleged break-in. One man, identified as David J. O'Neal, was arrested.
Read the related story: Police Release Identity Of Man They Say Stole Cruiser, Was Shot At By Police
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