GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — One man is dead after being shot by a Columbus SWAT officer at the Grove City Home Depot Saturday night, according to police.
Columbus police said a SWAT officer shot the man while trying to serve a warrant on him at the Home Depot store on the 1600 block of Stringtown Road at approximately 8:24 p.m. The shooting took place in the parking lot of the store.
The man was taken to Grant Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 p.m. His identity has not been released. Police said the man was the suspect in a rape, and that officer recovered a gun at the scene.
No police officers were injured in the incident. Grove City police said the scene of the shooting was safe.
“Certainly, we’re glad that no one else was hurt in this incident,” said Columbus Police Sgt. David Scarpitti at the scene. “I can tell you that there is no active threat from tonight. So we will again process this one step at a time. You know the most important step is our next one, so, again, we ask for patience during this time as we process everything.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will be investigating the shooting.
Columbus police said the department plans to be as transparent as possible about the situation, with body camera footage and more information possibly being released in the coming days.
Columbus police Sgt. Brian Steel, the vice president of the police union, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9, said SWAT officers are trained for these types of situations, and that there was a reason the team attempted to take the man into custody in a store parking lot.
“People should be concerned in this city about the crime,” he said. “Don’t let anybody fool you, crime isn’t going down, crime is going up, and here are the dangers our officers face nationwide in 2022: over 300 police officers shot, over six dozen have been killed. Our officers face dangers every single day. They want to go out, they want to serve but also, they have a right to go home to their family. If our officers come across you and you have a gun and you brandish that gun, point that gun, fire it, I guarantee you we will fire back.”
In addition to Columbus police, Grove City police responded to the scene.
This is the second time in less than a week that a person has been shot by a Columbus police officer. On Sunday, Feb. 5, 66-year-old Michael Cleveland was shot as he ran from a traffic stop on the south side of Columbus. Body camera footage shows Cleveland throwing something from his pocket, which police said was a handgun, before being shot by Columbus officer Joshua Ohlinger. Cleveland was not wanted on any warrants at the time of the shooting. Police have not released the reason for the traffic stop. Cleveland was last listed in stable condition earlier this week.