WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) — Columbus Police officers are involved in a shooting at Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s hospital in Westerville.
Columbus Police posted on Facebook that the officers involved are okay and the suspect was pronounced dead. The post says the shooting happened after Westerville medics requested that Columbus police assist them with the transport of a mental health patient around 1pm.
According to Columbus Police spokesperson Sgt. Rich Weiner, officers followed the medic to the hospital. When the patient walked out of the back of the vehicle, police say he was carrying a garbage bag. Inside the garbage box, inside the box was a handgun. Weiner said when the man looked behind him and saw a police officer, he took out the gun. Weiner said he then ignored the orders of officers to drop the gun.
Weiner said the gun turned out to be a realistic-looking BB gun.
“This is something that law enforcement that we’ve been dealing with for a long time. This is not going away,” Weiner said. “We have these guns that are replicas of live looking handguns. We can not tell within a couple seconds. We don’t have the opportunity to say ‘hey is that a bb gun? Is that a toy?”
According to the hospital, no patients or employees were injured.
The Westerville Police Department is handling the investigation.
The hospital released the following statement:
This afternoon, a police-involved shooting occurred on the campus of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s. No patients or colleagues were involved or injured. At this time, we have no additional details about this incident to share except that the shooting occurred and is actively being investigated. We are doing everything we can to assist the police with their investigation and to provide support and care to patients, families, visitors, and colleagues. Our first priority is always their safety.
The hospital was on lockdown for several hours, a hospital spokesperson tells NBC4. The lockdown was lifted shortly before 4pm.