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Officers fired 194 times at homicide suspects

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five Columbus police officers fired 194 shots in a matter of seconds at an armed homicide suspect and his girlfriend, who led them on a chase last May, according to a recent investigative report into the killings.

Officers shot at 24-year-old Emmanuel Gatewood and 21-year-old Kourtney Hahn following a pursuit that saw a gunshot from one of the suspects shatter the windshield of a police cruiser and injure two officers, according to the investigation by the police division’s critical incident response team. The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1csc7ts) reported on the investigation Tuesday.

The suspects led officers on a low-speed chase for nearly 5 miles on May 15 before their GMC Denali hit stop-sticks, eventually running over bushes and coming to a stop in the parking lot of a fire station. At the end of the chase, five officers fired at the SUV, some of them changing out their magazines three times. Hahn, who was in the driver’s seat, was hit 17 times, mostly in her head and back.

Two handguns were found in the car.

Gatewood – a suspect in an April 5 killing at an after-hours bar – resisted even after he was shot, climbing between the seats to get another magazine, and officers fired at him multiple times at close range. As he was facedown outside the car, his hands underneath him to keep officers from handcuffing him, one of the officers subdued him with three or four kicks.

A grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing, but they await judgment by a separate police board, which will determine whether they acted within policy.

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