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Complex that houses mentally ill residents working with Columbus police after man shot, killed

Creekside Place apartments
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Creekside Place apartments on North Nelson Road in Columbus, Ohio.

The apartment complex where police shot and killed a man wielding a knife and demanding police shoot him, is sparking some mental health organizations to work more with police.

Community Housing Network owns Creekside Place, where 26-year-old Colin Jennings lived up until Columbus police shot him on Thursday. The organization helps to find affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders.

Spokesperson Arlene Reitter said in an email statement the organization will now work with the city to provide information on other addresses they work with.

"Please recognize that this is a hard time for CHN. We are greatly saddened by this loss and are mourning Colin’s loss. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted," Reitter said.

Columbus police told reporters at a news conference Monday that the complex was not flagged in the 911 dispatch system as a residence that may have special concerns and could use the city's recently expanded alternative crisis response teams.

In 911 audio requested by WOSU, a caller who identified himself as Jennings' boyfriend, told a 911 dispatcher that Jennings was attacking him and that the man was cutting himself on his wrists. The caller also told the dispatcher the man locked himself in a bathroom and was taking pills for an unknown diagnosis.

The caller also told the dispatcher that this wasn't the first incident where Jennings had acted this way nor the first time police had been called.

Columbus has both a Right Response Unit with clinicians embedded in 911 calls to de-escalate situations and a Mobile Crisis Response Unit, which pairs an officer on scene with Columbus Public Health clinicians to de-escalate and stabilize crisis situations. Neither unit responded to this incident.

The shooting remains under review by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is standard operating procedure anytime a law enforcement officer's weapon is fired.

The names of the officers involved in the incident have not yet been released.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.