Ohio city officials investigating medic response to officer-involved shooting

Columbus fire officials are seeking to understand an apparent delay in the arrival of city medics to the scene of the fatal incident


The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The unarmed man fatally shot by a Columbus police officer last Tuesday during a non-emergency call for service didn't receive aid from paramedics for at least 15 minutes, dispatch records from both Columbus police and fire divisions show.

Officer Adam Coy shot Andre Hill about a minute after arriving to a home in the 1000 block of Oberlin Drive on the Northwest Side at 1:49 a.m.

A neighbor lights a candle at a small memorial near the site of the fatal police shooting of Andre Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 on Oberlin Drive in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus fire officials are investigating an apparent delay in the arrival of city paramedics to the scene of the shooting.
A neighbor lights a candle at a small memorial near the site of the fatal police shooting of Andre Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 on Oberlin Drive in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus fire officials are investigating an apparent delay in the arrival of city paramedics to the scene of the shooting. (Photo/Joshua A. Bickel, The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Several officers arrived after the shooting was sent by police dispatchers. And at least six, including at least one supervisor, spoke to Coy and tended to him as Hill, 47, was motionless and moaning in the garage entrance.

Columbus Safety Director Ned Pettus fired Coy Monday for not activating his body-worn camera and not rendering aid.

Coy is heard bodycam video after he activated it asking about a medic less than a minute after shooting Hill. It's unclear why nobody requested one then. About five minutes after the shooting, an officer is heard asking if an ambulance has been called. Shortly after that, another officer responds: "We do not have one, but we need one."

At 1:57 a.m., police officially request a medic, according to the fire division alarm office records.

The first ambulance to arrive, Medic 72, is from Upper Arlington, and takes about nine minutes to get there.

Station 19, in Clintonville, is closer, by more than a mile, but its ambulance arrives to Oberlin Drive three minutes after Upper Arlington's, according to fire division records.

The average response time during all shifts from the Clintonville station is about nine minutes.

Without knowing details about Hill's bullet wounds, it is unclear if response time would have made a difference. A detailed coroner's report is expected in 12 to 14 weeks.

But fire officials still want to know why the city's own paramedics were delayed in arriving when there was little traffic and no inclement weather.

"We're looking into it," said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin. "We're not pleased about it."

Martin said the fire division alarm office relies on police, or a 911 caller, to request an ambulance. There is no automatic trigger to send one, such as a reported officer-involved shooting, Martin said.

The delays, both in rendering aid to Hill at the scene, and his eventual arrival at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, about a half-mile away, are being investigated by both fire and police officials Hill was pronounced dead at the hospital at 2:25 a.m.

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(c)2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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