Just 13 seconds after Columbus, OH, police officers arrived on scene to investigate a report of gunshots, they were ambushed by a man concealing a shotgun. Officers escaped injury and one returned fire, wounding the gunman.
Sgt. Joseph Albert tells ABC6 a man fired at officers, striking their police vehicle. Officer Payne Vantilburg, a two-year veteran of the department, fired back hitting the suspect.
The officers had ordered the man to show them his hands as he walked toward them. That's when he pulled out the gun from behind his back and fired, court documents indicate.
"For those of us who were there that night, we understand that this shotgun blast came perilously close to the officer on the passenger side of this car," says Assistant Chief Greg Bodker. "Only by good luck and the grace of God he escaped with his life that night and was forced to respond with deadly force."
Police released body-worn camera video of the Saturday incident and provided updates in a press conference.
"That gun came out of nowhere," Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said in the Monday press conference. "If you look at the video, the suspect actually approached officers. He wasn't retreating, he wasn't trying to hide, he wasn't trying to run, he was walking directly towards them with that weapon and he pulled it. They had no idea that he was the person that they were intending to engage."
Following the officer-involved shooting, police found the suspect nearby and provided life-saving medical care.
Lamar Blue, 36, was taken to the hospital in critical condition but has been upgraded to stable. He has been charged with two counts of felony first-degree assault on a peace officer.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.