Two Columbus Officers Shot in Drug Raid

Two Columbus police officers were being treated at Grant Medical Center last night after being shot in a drug raid on a Near East Side house.

Early this morning, police still weren't releasing much information about the injured officers, including their names.

Sgt. Rich Weiner, Police Division spokesman, said both were in stable condition and that their injuries weren't life-threatening.

Jim Gilbert, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, was at Grant and said one officer was shot twice in the arm and once in the hip, and the other in the leg.

"One of the officers did sustain a pretty serious gunshot wound to his leg, and it was a patrol officer who actually rendered immediate aid and saved the officer's life," Gilbert said.

Dispatchers on police scanners initially described one officer as seriously wounded and the other as able to walk around.

Weiner said that four to seven people were in custody this morning and being questioned, though none had been charged.

"We don't know their roles right now," Weiner said.

Gilbert said the officers are part of the Columbus Police Narcotics Tactical Unit.

"Their responsibility is to rid the city of crack houses," he said.

They were conducting a raid about 9:45 p.m. when the shootings occurred at a house at 1781 E. Rich St., between Fairwood and Rhoads avenues.

One witness said he saw the officers approach the house from an alley behind it, then heard them call for "knockers" to break the windows. Shortly afterward, the witness said, at least five gunshots were fired.

Weiner said the officers who were hit were in the front of a group of officers going into the house and were shot immediately when they approached the door. As they fell, two officers behind them fired into the house but hit no one.

Weiner said they then dragged the injured officers away while other officers took people into custody.

As officers questioned suspects late last night, at least 50 or 60 fellow officers, Columbus firefighters and county deputies converged on Grant.

The wives of the officers also arrived and were consoled by Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

"The officers are conscious, they're alert, they're with family," Gilbert said.

WBNS-TV Reporter Brittany Westbrook contributed to this story.


Copyright 2008 The Columbus Dispatch

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