Columbus, OH – An active shooter opened fire on passing vehicles and law enforcement officers after driving off the roadway and crashing through a median cable late last week, according to police (video below).
The incident occurred on Interstate 71 northbound near mile marker 123 shortly before 10 a.m. on March 11, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Multiple motorists called 911 to report that a gunman was standing in the traffic lanes firing a gun at oncoming cars, according to the paper.
“There were no vehicles between me and the individual as he was in the median, whipped out the handgun from his waistband and started firing at the cops,” one caller said. “I watched everything happen right next to me.”
Another driver told the 911 dispatcher that a gunman wearing black pants and a blue and red hoodie shot at his van, chipping the windshield, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Investigators said the suspect, 21-year-old Jonathan Myers, was traveling in a Ford Fusion that went off Interstate 71 northbound, crashed through a median cable, and came to a stop on the southbound side of the median facing north, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio Department of Transportation footage showed that a woman Myers appeared to be angry with was also inside the car, according to the paper.
Myers got out of the vehicle and started running back and forth across the northbound lanes, then allegedly opened fire on at least three oncoming vehicles.
Police later said a transport van carrying two Madison High School coaches and two students was hit by gunfire, as well as a UPS truck and a car, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
“We all slammed on our brakes,” the UPS driver told the 911 dispatcher. “He ran through the middle of traffic.”
No one was injured by the gunfire, according to police.
Columbus police raced to the scene and began traveling down the interstate side-by-side to prevent the motorists behind them from encountering the gunman up ahead, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
They then blocked the road and used a patrol vehicle as cover as multiple additional officers on foot proceeded to confront Myers.
The suspect responded by opening fire on the police cruiser, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Officers returned fire, wounding him.
The gunman was rushed to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center in critical condition, but has since been upgraded to stable condition, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
He has been charged with multiple offenses, including attempted aggravated murder.
“This very much was an active shooter situation when law enforcement responded,” Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel told WSYX. “Any of those motorists on the roadway were in danger for their lives at that point when the suspect was shooting.”
“I know what I’m going to do and I’m going to hold him accountable to the fullest extent of the law that I can,” Schiffel added.
Investigators said the vehicle Myers was traveling in at the time of the crash matched the description of a vehicle that was involved in a hit-and-run incident less than 30 minutes prior to the shooting.
The woman inside the crashed vehicle was taken into custody for questioning, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The motive for the attack is unknown.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 President Jeff Simpson told the paper the officers involved in the encounter did what they needed to do to protect the public.
Simpson said the gunman made “a very bad decision.”
“Shooting at police, expect to be shot,” he told The Columbus Dispatch.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content: