Fatal Police Shooting At Westerville Hospital Caught On Officer Bodycams
Officers conducting a routine pat-down of a man in a hospital emergency room found a gun in his waistband, spurring a struggle over the weapon and a standoff that ended in officers killing him, according to police body camera footage released Wednesday.
Officers had been searching Miles Jackson, a Black man, at the hospital Monday in preparation for a custody exchange over warrants he had out for his arrest. Jackson began to struggle with the two officers after one of them felt the gun, video showed.
One of the officers used a stun gun on Jackson after they fell to the floor, while the other attempted to pull Jackson’s hands away from his waistband. A shot can then be heard in the video, apparently from the gun in Jackson’s waistband.
The officer who stunned Jackson took cover outside of the room. The other officer appeared to return fire at Jackson once before taking cover behind a hospital bed, video showed.
Officers shouted for minutes at Jackson, 27, to raise his hands and put them on his head. An officer eventually used a stun gun for a second time on Jackson, who was on his side on the hospital room floor. Another shot can be heard in the video before officers opened fire.
Jackson died in the shooting at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in suburban Columbus. The races of all the officers have not been confirmed, although several appeared to be white. A message was left with police requesting that information.
Jackson had apparently been brought to the hospital earlier that day, walked away, and then was found passed out in a nearby bank parking lot. Officers from suburban Westerville responded to that call and followed medics who were taking Jackson back to the hospital, according to police accounts and 911 calls released Wednesday.
Before Jackson was taken back to the hospital, a Westerville officer patted him down briefly, according to footage from the officer’s bodycam video.
“I’m just going to pat you down real quick, make sure you ain’t got nothing on you, right, no weapons, nothing like that?” the officer said. Jackson repeatedly asked for a cigarette, saying he had anxiety.
Columbus police were called to the hospital because Jackson had outstanding warrants in the city.
Once Jackson was in a room in the hospital’s emergency room, an officer briefly handcuffed his left hand to the hospital bed. A few minutes later, an officer removed the handcuff and began collecting Jackson’s property.
“You don’t have nothing sharp in your pockets, do you?” the officer asked. “Hopefully somebody would have caught that earlier.” About a minute later, a bullet dropped from Jackson’s pants.
“Uh oh. Got a little bullet action,” the officer said calmly as he picked it up. “Don’t see people carrying those around every day.”
Within the next minute, the officer told his fellow officer to get Jackson’s arm around him. “He’s got a gun,” the officer said.
Over about three minutes, officers outside the room shouted dozens of commands at Jackson, lying on the floor, to put his right hand over his head with his left hand. One Columbus officer was still in the room, behind the bed, with his gun pointed in Jackson’s direction, video showed.
“I’m just scared, guys,” Jackson said at one point. Later, he said, “So if I move y’all not going to shoot me. They’re not going to shoot me?” He also told officers he wasn’t going to do anything and that he was leaning on his right hand.
A police officer instructed Jackson again to raise his right hand.
“Slowly put your right hand up in the air. Slowly,” she said. When Jackson said he was putting the gun down, the officer replied, “Do not touch the gun. Let go of the gun and put both of your hands up over your head.”
The second use of the stun gun, the shot and then the police shooting erupted within seconds after her orders, the video showed.
On Wednesday, Westerville’s police chief placed the two officers who initially came into contact with Jackson on administrative leave. He told residents “that if policy violations are found, there will be an appropriate level of accountability.”
“It is not customary to publicly report on personnel matters, but we are committed to transparency and fully understand the attention to this incident,” Chief Charles Chandler said in a statement. “I have viewed the body camera footage from the initial contact with Miles Jackson and have concerns that warrant further review.”
Westerville officers Eric Everhart and David Lammert, who are both white, will be on leave while an internal investigation into the shooting is conducted, the department said. But the department’s probe cannot overlap or interfere with the independent investigation Attorney General Dave Yost is conducting, Charles said, so it will be on hold until that is completed.
Columbus police identified the officers in the shooting as Andrew Howe and Ryan Krichbaum, both 15 year veterans of the agency.
Emergency room staff tried to revive Jackson. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, authorities said. No officers, hospital staff or physicians were injured, officials said.
Franklin County Municipal Court issued an arrest warrant for Jackson on March 17 after he failed to appear for his hearing. He was arrested and charged with assault, domestic violence, falsification and resisting arrest Feb. 20.
Late Tuesday night, Columbus police in Ohio’s capital city used pepper spray on a small group of people who briefly breached outer doors at the agency’s downtown headquarters, following a largely peaceful protest downtown earlier in the evening where dozens marched after Jackson’s shooting. Demonstrators gathered again Wednesday night in what appeared to be a peaceful protest.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther backed the protesters’ cause but denounced the attempt by a few to enter police headquarters.