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Shots reported in parking lot, officer fires; woman injured

February 14, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio police officer discharged a firearm while investigating an altercation in a parking lot, and one person was taken to a hospital, but it’s unclear if she was injured by the officer’s shot.

Columbus police say officers were in uniform on special duty outside Living Room Restaurant and Lounge on the city’s northeast side when they heard shots fired from the parking lot shortly before 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police say an officer investigating the altercation between two groups discharged a firearm. Once the scene was secured, a female was found with an apparent gunshot wound, police said. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

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“It is unknown if the victim’s injury is from the parking lot altercation or from the officer discharging their firearm,” police said in a statement. A firearm was recovered at the scene.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Police Sgt. James Fuqua told the Columbus Dispatch that the officers weren’t wearing body cameras at the time because they aren’t required to wear them when they’re working special duty. Special duty officers are contracted out independently and work on their own time, often for security, traffic control or police escorts within city limits.

Body camera footage from on-duty officers who responded to the shooting was handed over to Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Fuqua said.