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Columbus Police Killed Teenage Suspect During Robbery Stings

Raymond Wambsgans

Columbus Police are responding to two officer involved shootings that occurred last week as part of a crack-down on armed robberies.

This year the police have done 10 stings where an undercover SWAT officer, posing as a potential buyer, agreed to meet an online seller and exchange an item for cash, while other SWAT officers standby.

In the last two stings, two suspects were shot. One, 16-year-old Julius Ervin Tate Jr, was killed.

"We debrief every situation we’re involved in, look at our tactics, looked at ways to improve and how to have different outcomes in the future," says acting police chief Tim Becker. "Unfortunately not every situation lends itself to a different outcome."

The two incidents are currently under investigation but Becker says these operations will continue as long as the crimes do.

"We had very good success with the  previous events without coming to deadly force, so it doesn't mean that the next one won't be able to be resolved without deadly force,” Becker says.

Meanwhile, Becker says there are designated spots in the city where people should conduct internet transactions

“The city of Columbus department of public safety has five locations designated just for this purpose,” Becker says. “These zones are video recorded 24 hours a day, they're well lit, and if somebody's not willing to come and meet you there, that's probably a sign that you shouldn't be making the transaction.”