Man shot after I-71 gunfire to face attempted murder charge

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man shot and wounded by police in Ohio’s capital after allegedly firing at vehicles along a busy stretch of Interstate 71 will face an attempted aggravated murder charge, authorities said.

Columbus police said drivers reported that someone on the side of the highway next to a car was firing at northbound vehicles near the Gemini Place interchange shortly before 10 a.m. Friday. Authorities said at least three vehicles were hit by the gunfire.

Video from a driver shown on Columbus TV stations shows the man shooting at police, who return fire. Sgt. James Fuqua, a police spokesperson, said the man was taken to a hospital in critical condition but was later said to be stable. A police officer was also taken to a hospital with an injury unrelated to the gunfire.

Officials said the suspect’s vehicle had gone off the left side of the highway and struck a cable barrier in the median, and he then got out and started randomly shooting at vehicles. A female also got out and was on the grass median.

Police said a Columbus police cruiser was struck. Delaware County prosecutor Melissa Schiffel said in a recorded statement on Facebook that a van transporting students to a state wrestling tournament was also among the vehicles targeted. Madison Local School District Superintendent Rob Peterson said no one was injured.

“I am so thankful for the men and women of law enforcement who descended on this chaotic scene to protect all of the human life on the road way today…” Schiffel said in the recorded statement. “I have zero tolerance for shooting at law enforcement and for endangering the lives of citizens in Delaware County.”