I-71 shooting: Columbus police release dashcam video of man firing at officers, 911 calls
Columbus police on Monday released 911 calls and body and dashcam videos about the actions of Jonathon Myers, who they say exchanged gunfire with their officers last Friday on Interstate 71 in Delaware County.
Myers, 21, of Columbus' Northland neighborhood, is charged with attempted aggravated murder in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, according to a complaint obtained by The Dispatch. He is also expected to face additional charges.
One dashcam video begins with police cruisers arriving to the area where a 2014 Gray Ford Fusion crashed into a median cable and went off the left side of I-71 northbound near milemarker 123, north of the East Powell Road overpass and the Gemini Place/ IKEA Way interchange.
Myers is accused of shooting at vehicles traveling that morning on the interstate before they arrived, striking at least three vehicles but fortunately injuring no one, police said. The suspect can be seen standing in the grass median, facing a woman who reportedly was inside the Ford Fusion with the Columbus man before exiting.
Myers begins walking away from the cruisers, looking over his shoulder every so often.
The video suddenly jerks upward as the cruiser filming the encounter brakes suddenly. Myers comes into full view of the camera, sprinting toward the right berm of Intestate 71 northbound with what appears to be a gun in his hand.
While in the center of the roadway, Myers can be seen turning around while running, pointing the gun and appearing to fire in the direction of police.
He then continues running toward the right berm. Once he reaches the other side of the roadway, Myers turns completely around to face the officers and again points and appears to fire the gun in their direction.
As Myers turns his back toward the officers and begins to walk away, he falls to the ground, apparently shot by police.
Officers come into view of the dash camera, guns drawn while approaching Myers as he lies on his side. Myers was transported in critical condition to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus, but was upgraded to stable condition.
Much of the police bodycam video released is anything but stable, as it captures officers running and jogging in motion. When it isn't in motion, weapons drawn by officers are in front of the camera.
The release of videos did not appear include the dashcam video from the Columbus police cruiser that took the lead and was used as a shield by officers pursuing the suspected gunman as he walked then ran north on I-71's northbound lanes. That cruiser was hit at least once in the hood and possibly once in the front windshield by suspect gunfire. The officer inside returned fire at the suspect through the front windshield It was not immediately clear if that video was not released because it was damaged or as part of key evidence in the case being retained by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Other videos posted to social media show what happened before Myers came into full view of the dashcam video and sprinted across the highway.
As one officer drove toward the gunman with the door of his police cruiser open, a video posted on Twitter — taken by a female passenger inside a vehicle traveling southbound on I-71 — shows Myers suddenly turn and fire multiple times at the cruiser, striking it at least once in the hood.
The officer returns fire from inside the cruiser through his windshield as other officers on foot run toward the shooting using the cruiser as a shield, the video shows.
911 calls released by police also paint a picture of a chaotic scene both before and when police arrived.
One of the calls came from a transport van that was struck by gunfire and was occupied by two wrestlers from Madison High School and their two coaches, who were headed south to a state wrestling meet at Ohio State University's Schottenstein Center.
The man driving the two Madison wrestlers told the 911 dispatcher that a man with a blue and red hoodie and black pants was in the middle of the freeway shooting at oncoming cars and that his van's windshield had a chip in it.
A woman motorist traveling southbound called 911 to say she had just passed a crash just before the Polaris exit and saw a man in the median with a gun in his hand.
And another man called dispatch to say he witnessed "the whole thing."
"There were no vehicles between me and the individual as he was in the median, whipped out the handgun from his waistband and started firing at the cops," he said. "I watched everything happen right next to me."
Dispatch reporter Bethany Bruner contributed to this report.
Monroe Trombly covers breaking and trending news.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus police release dashcam video, 911 calls of I-71 shooting