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Bodycam video shows Columbus police officer fatally shooting man while serving warrant

Mayor Andrew Ginther said the city is committed to full transparency and sharing as much information as they can without compromising any active investigations.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Division of Police released body camera video of three shootings involving officers on Tuesday, one of which was deadly.

Mayor Andrew Ginther spoke ahead of a press coverage saying the city is committed to full transparency and sharing as much information as it can without compromising any active investigations.

"We ask for your patience and grace as we work to quickly recover all the facts," Ginther said.

Chief of Police Elaine Bryant said it is her job to hold the officers accountable, but it's also her job to support them.

"If they do the right things for the right reasons, we will support them. If they do something wrong, they will be held accountable," Bryant said.

Director of Public Safety Robert Clark said the city was limited in what it was able to discuss because investigations are underway in each incident.

Aug. 30 - Sullivant Avenue 

A Columbus officer fatally shot and killed a man while attempting to serve a search warrant just before 2:30 a.m.

The shooting happened at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Sullivant Avenue.

Bryant said officers knocked on the apartment door for about 10 minutes before anyone answered. Officers took two men into custody and officers called in a K9 unit to assist in the search of the apartment. 

Credit: Columbus Division of Police

Bryant said the K9 led officers to a bedroom in the back of the apartment. 

Body camera footage shows the officer handling the K9 open the door and firing once. The shot hit a man, identified as 20-year-old Donovan Lewis sitting on the bed.

Lewis was taken to Grant Medical Center where he was pronounced dead less than an hour after the shooting, police said.

Bryant said Lewis was wanted on a felony warrant for domestic violence and assault and improperly handling a firearm.

Police identified Ricky Anderson as the officer who shot Lewis. Anderson is a 30-year veteran of the department.

Officers at the scene said after the bedroom door was opened they saw Lewis raise his arms, holding onto something. No gun was recovered but police said a vape pen was found.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation.

Aug. 22 - Eakin Road

The incident on the night of Aug. 22 happened in the 3600 block of Eakin Road after Bryant said a 911 caller reported a group of men outside of an apartment complex with firearms. The caller said the same group was outside the apartment the night before with rifles.

Police said arriving officers saw two males run around the outside of the building.

Video shows one of the males running into the street and an officer firing his weapon.

The officer's body camera video shows a 17-year-old boy running into the street and the officer firing one shot, which did not hit the teen.

The teen immediately sat down in the street and put his hands in the air and other officers handcuffed the teen.

The officer who fired his weapon can be heard saying the teen reached down before firing. The teen replied saying he "didn't reach down for nothing."

Credit: Columbus Division of Police

Police said three people, one of whom was the teen, were arrested.

Officers recovered four guns during their investigation, according to Bryant. Charges are pending against the three suspects.

BCI declined to investigate because no one was struck by the officer.

Detectives with the Columbus Division of Police Major Crimes Bureau are investigating the incident.

Aug. 27 - East Main Street and Seymour Avenue

Two officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a moving violation at the intersection of East Main Street and Seymour Avenue Saturday afternoon.

Immediately after initiating the stop, the officers aired shots fired and one person fled the scene. 

Body camera footage shows Officer Joshua Ohlinger open his door and fire shots at two male suspects who fled the backseat of the stopped vehicle, hitting a 17-year-old. An officer then followed 18-year-old Najaa Ellman and took him into custody.

Credit: Columbus Division of Police

The teen was taken to Grant Medical Center in critical condition, but was upgraded to stable. Charges are pending against the teen.

A handgun was found in the waistband of the injured suspect and another handgun was located near Ellman in the 1500 block of East Mound Street.

Two more individuals remained in the vehicle as an officer waited for backup.

BCI is investigating this incident.

The NAACP released a statement on Tuesday, saying the organization is concerned about the recent incidents involving Columbus officers. The organization said it demands BCI conducts a "thorough, comprehensive and immediate investigation." 

The city promised transparency and an independent investigation into the shooting.


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