COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Body camera video released by the Columbus Division of Police showed the suspect in a Sunday shootout mocking SWAT officers in the aftermath.
Columbus police and a SWAT team were serving an arrest warrant to 22-year-old Rodriguez Fitzgerald, a suspect for crimes including felonious assault, discharging into a habitation, aggravated menacing and domestic violence. An initial body camera video from Sgt. Scott Siford showed the group swarm the front and sides of a home in the 2900 block of Azelda Street.
The officers spoke with Fitzgerald’s family, and called out inside the home telling him to come down to be arrested. At 11:52 a.m., Fitzgerald left the house and tried to run away through a back alley.
At 11:53 a.m., Columbus SWAT Officer Rodney Mayberry, who was waiting by a fence with his gun drawn, told Fitzgerald to get back inside. Fitzgerald responded by shooting at him, heard both on Mayberry and Siford’s body cameras.
NBC4 has an edited version of Mayberry and Siford’s body camera videos below. Viewer discretion is advised.
Mayberry stumbled backward trying to find cover, and fell on a pile of wood. He shot back at Fitzgerald while still down, then got up and kept firing as he fell back behind a car. Fitzgerald kept moving along the fence line and shot again.
From behind a white SUV, Mayberry returned fire. He yelled at Fitzgerald telling him to get on the ground. By this point, Siford and another officer caught up and pinned Fitzgerald on the other side of the fenced area opposite of Mayberry. The suspect made it clear in the video that he wasn’t giving up.
“Let me go, b****,” Fitzgerald said in the middle of the shootout.
Mayberry fired another four rounds at Fitzgerald. Another two shots rang out, but the body camera video didn’t make it clear who fired them. Mayberry quickly ducked behind the SUV, implying he took cover from Fitzgerald.
The suspect’s next words implied he had been shot.
“Got me, b****,” Fitzgerald said repeatedly as the shooting continued.
Mayberry ordered Fitzgerald to get on the ground, and reloaded his handgun’s magazine. The SWAT officer ducked again as more shots ring out. Mayberry kept firing.
At 11:54, Fitzgerald told officers he dropped his gun and began sitting on the ground. Mayberry walked toward him with his gun pointed at him. The SWAT officer continued shouting commands at Fitzgerald, who apologized to them.
While being placed in handcuffs, Fitzgerald looked up at Mayberry and smiled.
“I don’t give a f***,” Fitzgerald said. “S*** n****, I had a fun time with your b*******.”
The officers told him to “shut up” immediately afterward, and Fitzgerald apologized before being pulled up and taken away. Columbus police said officers gave him treatment for at least one gunshot wound until emergency medical teams arrived.
They took Fitzgerald to Riverside Methodist Hospital in critical condition, but he was later upgraded to stable condition and expected to recover. No one else was injured in the shooting, according to CPD.
Franklin County Municipal Court records showed Fitzgerald has been charged with assault on a peace officer for the shootout. A judge issued a warrant for the charge, but had not set any court date for Fitzgerald as of Wednesday.