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Sources: Suspects in Columbus officer shooting possibly connected to other high-end car thefts, bank robberies

CrimeTracker 10 spoke with an employee at a central Ohio car dealership who said he was held at gunpoint twice in the last month.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Authorities are investigating possible connections that robbery suspects who exchanged gunfire with police and shot a Columbus officer last week may have to other armed bank robberies and high-end car thefts in the Columbus area, sources tell 10TV.

In the afternoon hours of July 6, three suspects took part in an armed car theft at the Buyers Auto dealership in Whitehall, then proceeded to rob the Fifth Third Bank on Hilliard-Rome Road. Officers responded, resulting in a pursuit and shootout on I-70 eastbound that left one officer shot and one suspect dead. That suspect was later identified as Abdisamad Ismali.

The two remaining suspects escaped from the scene, but have now been apprehended by police and were identified as 20-year-old Aden Abdullahi Jama and 23-year-old Faisal Darod.

Both central Ohio men were charged with aiding and abetting a bank robbery and the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court, law enforcement are now investigating more crimes linked to these suspects, including another robbery of a Fifth Third Bank in Upper Arlington on July 5. Court documents say a Corvette was used in this robbery.

“Yes, we think it is connected,” confirmed Upper Arlington Police Sergeant Bryan McKean.

CrimeTracker 10 spoke to an employee at a local car dealership who said he was held at gunpoint both on July 3, when a Corvette was stolen, and on June 19 when a Mazeratti was stolen. He described it as a similar scenario that played out at Byers Auto in Whitehall.

Sources tell CrimeTracker 10 they believe the Corvette used during the July 5 bank robbery in Upper Arlington is the same one that Darod posted a picture of on his Facebook page.

Police are also investigating whether the same group robbed the same bank one month before.

“We aren't ruling anything out. We are looking at all the connections for all of this. What happened with CPD and their jurisdiction is overlap with Whitehall, another others. We are looking at all the possible connections and any other incidents that could possibly be connected,” McKean said.

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