COLUMBUS, OHIO – Police say they believe the fatal gunshot wound to a man who lived in an apartment that was being burglarized earlier this week came from the responding police officer.
Destin Thomas, 21, died from a gunshot wound after a burglary at an east side apartment on Brooke Blvd. Tuesday morning.
Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said the department is confident that the injuries to Thomas were received from the officer’s weapon.
Weiner said police are conducting a ballistics test to confirm, but that they reached the conclusion based on the coroner’s report.
It all started at about 8:45 a.m. when police were called to the reported burglary and shots fired at the apartment.
Police said two suspects came out of the apartment, followed by Thomas, who was carrying a gun.
According to CPD, during a confrontation with police, an officer fired his weapon.
According to the Fairfield County Coroner’s Office, Thomas sustained two gunshot wounds – one to the hip and one to the chest. The coroner said the chest wound was fatal.
About five hours later, police spotted the two possible suspects from the burglary.
One of the suspects allegedly stole a police cruiser in the area of Tussing Road and Penobscott.
The officer fired gunshots at the cruiser and suspect, who eventually crashed into a row of air conditioning units at an apartment complex.
He was hospitalized and treated for minor injuries.
The suspect was identified as 19-year-old David J. O’Neal. He was released from the hospital and taken into custody Thursday.
Police said he is charged with four felony charges: grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, vandalism, and obstructing official business.
O’Neal appeared before a Fairfield County Judge Thursday, and bond was set at $500,000.
Police are still searching for the second suspect in connection with the burglary. He is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, with short dreadlocks. He was last seen wearing gray shorts and a black T-shirt.
According to Columbus police, Officer William Kaufman, a 17-year veteran, fired shots at the location on Brooke Blvd.
Officer Billie Camp-Donovan, a 15-year veteran, fired shots at the intersection of Tussing Road and Penobscott.