Gunfire Rattles Clintonville

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Columbus police hold scene of gunfire exchange in Clintonville. Seven officers fired weapons.(Photo: WOSU/Tom Borgerding)
Columbus police hold scene of gunfire exchange in Clintonville. Seven officers fired weapons.(Photo: WOSU/Tom Borgerding)

Columbus police continue to investigate this morning’s dramatic shoot-out in Clintonville. A murder suspect and a woman were killed; two police officers were hurt. The shooting sprayed bullets around the normally quiet neighborhood.

Before dawn Mary Ann Weiss woke to a lot of shooting coming from the fire station on High Street. Mary Ann Weiss lives directly behind the fire station where the chase and shooting ended.

“And I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was a very unusual sound. To me it sounded like corn popping. It was very rapid and it lasted for several minutes.” Says Weiss.

Two blocks away, Sherry Lehmann also heard the gunfire.

“The sound of it was somewhat like fireworks, a multiple exchnage of gunshots. And then sirens that seemed like they weren’t going to end at all, lots of sirens.” Lehmann says.

Before dawn, patrol officers, working on a tip, tried to stop a murder suspect’s car. The suspect was wanted for an April murder in northeast Columbus. Police Sergeant Rich Weiner says police lay down stop-sticks on High Street just south of North Broadway.

“That’s when the suspects began firing at the officers.”

The two officers were injured by flying glass when bullets smashed their cruisers’ windows. Other officers pursued the car several blocks north on High. The shootout continued in front of the Columbus fire station.

“I mean we’re talking a lot of gunfire here. We have two weapons recovered from the suspect vehicle. One is a handgun. The other one, the only way I can describe it is that it holds high capacity rounds.” Weiner says.

Sergeant Weiner says seven officers fired their weapons. Eleven officers and five firefighters witnessed the shooting.

“This is a fine example of hours of boredom followed by seconds of terror. That’s exactly how you can sum it up.” Adds Weiner.

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