Undercover officer shoots suspect in Staples parking lot

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - An undercover Colerain Township police officer shot a suspect in the parking lot of the Staples store on Colerain Avenue Thursday morning.

The suspect was shot at around 11:45 a.m. in the 8400 block of Colerain Avenue.

Police say officers were conducing surveillance in the parking lot when they observed suspicious activity by the occupants of a silver 4-door vehicle. Officers approached the vehicle and identified themselves as police.

The suspect vehicle then attempted to flee by ramming into vehicles, including the officers'.

The officers said they made several demands for the driver to stop, but he refused. The suspect then attempted to back up into one of the officers, who had gotten out of his vehicle.

That officer then fired his weapon at the suspect, hitting him. The suspect surrendered and was transported to University Hospital. His name and condition have not been released.

None of the officers involved were injured. Per procedure, they have been placed on paid administrative leave. Their names have not yet been released.

Witnesses say two other suspects were taken into custody.

Some community members stood in support of the officer's decision to use his weapon while others criticized and questioned it.

"If the officer's life is in jeopardy I prefer that he protect himself. Because you don't know what they're going to do," said witness Drew Classen who heard the shots while working in a nearby store. "Even if it's in a parking lot … I mean public safety, officer safety, is paramount and if the officer feels public safety is at risk he should act accordingly."

"I understand you have to protect. But you also have to think about the other people," Latisha Waters argued. "I mean, this is a busy parking lot. You have Wal-Mart, you have Staples, you have people coming with their kids. There just should be a little more discretion used when you're firing."

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