COLUMBUS, Ohio — Marissa Jones, 33, is paralyzed from the neck down after she was shot at a South Linden gas station last week during an attempted robbery.
Jones was on a date last Wednesday when police said they stopped at the Sunoco gas station on Cleveland Avenue. Columbus Police Detective Jeremy Niederkohr said a group of three suspects then surrounded their vehicle.
As Jones was trying to close her passenger side door, police said one of the suspects lunged into the vehicle and demanded her belongings. Shortly after, a shot was fired and Jones was struck.
Yvonne Jones, Marissa's mother, was at work in Cleveland when police called her to deliver the news about what happened to her daughter.
"It was just so devastating seeing how vibrant my daughter usually is on a regular basis," Yvonne said. "They're telling us this life sentence for her is being paralyzed from the neck down so it was really, really bad."
Marissa's older sister, Aleshia Osley, described her as one of the nicest and sweetest people she knows.
“She loves her music, she loves her quiet time, she loves being at home by herself,” said Aleshia Osley, Jones’ sister, “[now], she doesn’t remember anything, she can’t even remember that she can’t move her arms and legs.”
Detective Niederkohr said 20-year-old Jawara Scott, the suspected shooter, and a juvenile are both in custody. Police are still searching for three others who are believed to be a part of the attempted robbery — two girls and one boy, all three either being 16 or 17 years old.
All five have been charged with felonious assault, but more charges are expected.
Niederkohr said he believes the suspects have committed similar crimes in the past because of how the group was acting prior to the attempted robbery.
"I think this was a crime of opportunity," Niederkohr said. "Based on how they approached the vehicle, how they all kind of teamed up before they went and did this act, leads me to believe this wasn't their first time. I think they knew exactly what they were doing."
The detective said the response from the public has been significant and estimates the department has received dozens of tips on the case.
Anyone who has information on the case is asked to call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.