Saturday, July 30, 2016

High-speed police pursuits go high-tech

By Tod Newcombe High-speed police chases are extremely dangerous. At least 11,500 people were killed in police pursuits between 1979 and 2013. More than 5,000 of those deaths were bystanders …

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CLINTONVILLE (Lisa Rantala/Kate Liebers) — Months after an officer-involved shootout left two people dead and virtually shut down a Columbus neighborhood, ABC 6/FOX 28 obtained footage that gives the incident new perspective. In a one-block stretch in Clintonville, more than 150 bullets rang out in the span of two minutes. Emmanuel Gatewood, a murder suspect riding in the back of an SUV, was hit by police bullets four times; Kourtney Hahn, the driver, was shot 17 times. Both died on the scene, police said.A grand jury eventually cleared the seven Columbus officers who were involved in the May 2013 fatal double shooting. The dash cam videos were just released this week. The footage begins as cruiser after cruiser joins the chase for the Columbus couple. Bullets flying from the SUV toward the police car can be seen as the chase continued through Clintonville streets. The lead officer repeats, I’m hit. I’m hit. At North High Street and Broadway, officers drop stop sticks. The SUV drives over them. After one cruiser pulled out of the chase to go to the hospital, the video shows the SUV losing control. It went through bushes before stopping in front of a fire station on High Street. The seven-minute chase ended with a shootout that lasted for more than 130 seconds. When it was over, Hahn in the driver’s seat and Gatewood in the back of the vehicle were both dead. Police reportedly found two firearms in the SUV: an M9 and an automatic pistol. Investigators said neither of the weapons could have been the one used in the murder Gatewood was suspected of committing. Besides lasting hearing damage, the police were not injured. The officers who left the chase to go to the hospital discovered they were hit by shattered glass, not a bullet. One aspect of the scenario that still shocks one officer was how the chase began. Police said they had been in the process of impounding the SUV at a nearby apartment complex hours before the chase because it had was seen leaving a murder scene just a month earlier. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would come back to the car, Columbus Division of Police Sgt. James Wildermuth said. We filled out an impound slip and we were all over the car. Hahn had apparently moved out of her parents’ home because they did not like her dating Gatewood. To review the crime scene photos, visit our News Gallery on the ABC 6 See It, Shoot It, Send It page.To watch more dash cam video of the shooting, click here.
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