Police Officer In Critical Condition After Standoff In Columbus, Suspect Identified

A Columbus, Ohio, police officer was in critical condition after a stand-off when he was shot during a stand-off situation. The stand-off occurred at North High Street near California Avenue. The suspect in the shooting has been identified and apprehended and will be charged with attempted murder.

WCMH NBC News 4 in Columbus reported that the stand-off began around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night when the police officer went to serve a warrant to Lincoln Rutledge, 44. Rutledge was charged with arson in a fire that happened on Fairlawn Drive and had barricaded himself into the building where he was found.

Rutledge was taken into custody around 7:30 a.m. the next morning and charged with attempted murder. After Rutledge barricaded himself inside the building, he later shot the officer, who was positioned inside a SWAT vehicle.

Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that the officer had been shot and was in critical condition. The officer was later identified as Steven Smith, 54, who had been a police officer in the Columbus Police Department for 27 years.

WSAZ reported that after the police officer was shot, he was taken to a local hospital and was operated on at the Ohio State University’s medical center. No word was given as to the exact nature of his injuries, and he remained in critical condition. The suspect opened fire on the SWAT vehicle the officer was from within the apartment. Further details of the warrant for the suspect’s arrest revealed he was being charged with aggravated arson.

Police said that the suspect had refused to give up and barricaded himself in the apartment. Flames were later seen coming from the apartment he was in. Police spokesman Sergeant Rich Weiner said that the suspect finally gave up around 7:15 a.m. the next morning.

He was later treated at another hospital as police said he suffered from smoke inhalation and and an apparent gun shot wound. No word was given whether the suspect had been released from the hospital although he was being charged and was in police custody.

Cincinnati reported that the police officer was in critical condition after being critically injured when the suspect opened fire on the SWAT team. The stand-off finally ended when a loud bang was heard from within the apartment, a strategy police say was used to end the stand-off. The officer was inside the SWAT vehicle approaching the scene when the shots rang out, and he was hit.

SWAT were on hand at the scene because it had been reported that the suspect displayed erratic behavior, and the SWAT team knew that the suspect had access to guns. Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that it was difficult to explain why the suspect opened fire, and it was a dangerous situation for the police to be in.

“There are some very desperate people out there, very dangerous people out there. Sometimes they choose to go out in a certain way and-or take us on in a certain way.”

Court records indicate that the documents for Rutledge’s arrest didn’t show an attorney who could comment on the charges against Rutledge. It was unclear to police officers how the fire in the apartment started. After a long time during the stand off, the SWAT team determined there was no movement inside the apartment. SWAT entered through the same window Rutledge fired the shots through, and he was immediately taken into custody.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]