Police looking for suspects after woman shot, raped in west Columbus

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Columbus Police are looking for three suspects who they say shot and raped a woman in west Columbus early Thursday morning.

It happened in the 400 block of South Burgess Avenue between 2:30 and 3 a.m.

Police say the woman they found there had been raped and shot in the abdomen.

At first glance, all that stood out in the alley is the crime scene tape spilling from a trash can.

But look closer, and you could see the signs of a struggle:  blood spattered on a garage door and what appears to be a handprint in crimson.

"It's scary, it really is," Desiree Fleming said.

Fleming and her co-workers were driving home from work around 2:30 a.m. Thursday when a terrifying figure emerged in front of them.

"A lady comes out of the street, Burgess, in front of the church, standing in the middle of the street waving her arms, pointing, and there's blood everywhere," she said.

Fleming said she was so startled; she wasn't sure what to think, or what to do.

“She's hurt, let's stop, but I didn't want to stop, because I have kids. I don't know what's going on, it could be fake, could it be real? It was scary,” Fleming said.

She stopped and called 911 and said police were on scene within just a few minutes.

Fleming said she didn't sleep wondering what had happened to the woman and whether she was ok.

Fleming hopes the victim will someday be okay and those responsible will face justice.

"No woman deserves to be sexually assaulted,” she said. “No matter what.”

The victim is at Mount Carmel Hospital West in fair condition.

She describes her attackers as three young white males, in their late teens or early 20s.

Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus Police at 614-645-4266.