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Columbus Police Identify Officers Who Fatally Shot 15-Year-Old Robbery Suspect

Raymond Wambsgans

Columbus Police have released the names of two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy during an attempted armed robbery last Thursday.

On January 30, officers Benjamin Hetzer and Thomas Pezzott II responded to multiple 911 calls about an armed robbery at a CVS on East Broad Street around 6 p.m.

Police say that after entering the building, the officers confronted Abdirahman Salad while he was holding a gun inside the store’s pharmacy.

“Multiple officers did fire their weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect was transported to Grant Medical Center, where he later died as a result of his injuries,” Columbus Police Sergeant James Fuqua said at the scene.

Neither officer was hurt. The shooting remains under investigation.

The incident was Columbus’ second deadly officer-involved shooting of an armed robbery suspect within one week. On January 25, officer Jeffrey Miller fatally shot 34-year-old Joshua James Brown as he exited a Bob Evans on Olentangy River Road.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.
Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.