Columbus police chief addresses this year's multiple officer-involved shootings

(WBNS)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Bob Evans, a CVS and a hotel.

These are three of the five places where police have shot suspects during confrontations this year in Columbus. Now, the chief of police is addressing the recent incidents.

On Jan. 25, a man was shot and killed by officers at the Bob Evans on Olentangy River Road during and armed robbery.

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On Jan. 30, a 15-year old suspect was shot and killed by officers at the CVS located on East Broad Street during a robbery.

Most recently, on Thursday, a 17-year old homicide suspect was shot and killed by SWAT officers at the Magnuson Grand Columbus North Hotel on East Dublin Granville Road. Police say he was wanted for murder and fired on officers.

Two other suspects were wounded this year in officer-involved shootings.

On Jan. 10, another robbery suspect was shot and critically injured by police at the Steak ‘n Shake on Cleveland Avenue.

On Feb. 13, officers shot a 60-year-old man after he allegedly pulled a gun on a healthcare worker on East Mithoff Street. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Police Chief Thomas Quinlan addressed the issue with the media Friday. He said he is concerned about the number of recent officer-involved shootings in public places.

"For our officers, I'm concerned for the public. I'm concerned for the teens. The willingness to engage in criminal activity with a firearm is dangerous for them, it's dangerous for the community, it's dangerous for police officers," he said

The shootings, he said, are more troublesome because of the time of the year that they are happening.

Normally, colder months don't produce a lot of violent crime, he said.

Now, he wonders what summer will bring.

"We are concerned that this is a going to be ever rising occurrence throughout the year as the year gets warmer and kids are out in public places. We want to stop it now," he said.

To address the issue, the chief says it's time for faith leaders, coaches, clergy and judges work together to address gun violence.

"We need more people in the criminal justice spectrum to get involved," he said.

Columbus Council President Shannon Hardin issued a statement saying, "Too many youth are making emotional decisions that end with a bullet. The consequences are escalating, and lives are being cut short. In the first seven weeks of 2020, half of Columbus’ homicide victims were under 21. Kids should never be able to get guns or make the terrible decision to use one. We all have a role in our village to be one another’s keeper. This is on all of us. Everyone with influence on young folks needs to lean in and speak up to stop the violence. We must step up to keep dangerous weapons out of our homes and neighborhoods. Politicians, parents, teachers, faith leaders, business leaders or neighborhood leaders, we must all do more to provide youth with opportunities, so kids stay alive, work and thrive in the Columbus of the future."

Columbus police have released their Use of Force Report for the 2018 year. To read it, click here.