Police in Columbus, Ohio say a 14-year old is in custody and a 15-year old suspect is on the loose after an attempted armed robbery in the city that was thwarted when the intended victim pulled out a gun of his own.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the armed citizen but describe him as a 75-year old man who was volunteering with the local Meals on Wheels program when he was approached by the two armed teenagers on the city’s east side.
A 14-year-old boy pointed a gun at the 75-year-old and demanded the victim get out of his car. The teen then entered the car. The second teenager, a 15-year-old boy, then stole the 75-year-old’s cell phone and wallet.
Meanwhile the 75-year-old, who was a concealed carry weapons license holder, pulled out a gun. The 14-year-old also pulled out a gun. The 75-year-old then fired shots at the 14-year-old striking him. The teen was taken to a hospital for treatment, where he is listed in stable condition.
Once he’s released from the hospital the teen is expected to face armed robbery charges. The 15-year old suspect took off after his buddy was shot, and so far police say they have not been able to identify the would-be robber.
As for the 14-year old, his identity is being withheld by authorities because of his age, but local law enforcement say this isn’t the first time they’ve encountered the teen. Back in August the 14-year old was arrested for vehicle theft, and in July the teenager was taken into custody on kidnapping and robbery charges.
That begs the question; what was this teenager doing out on the street if he was already facing multiple felony charges? Perhaps more importantly, what do prosecutors plan to do with the teenager now that he’s facing a second robbery charge? Will they attempt to hold him in custody without bail until trial, given the lengthy criminal charges he’s managed to accumulate over the past few months, or will they acquiesce without objection if a judge decides to set the 14-year old loose after he’s released from the hospital?
Violent crime is on the rise in Columbus, and the city is on pace for its deadliest year since 2017. Now’s the time for prosecutors and judges to send a message that violent crime will not be tolerated, and that there will be consequences for those engaged in criminal activities.
Of course there’s no guarantee that the criminal justice system is going to hold suspects like this 14-year old accountable for their actions, which is one reason why gun sales have been soaring in the Columbus area this year. It’s human nature to want to feel safe and secure, and at the moment many folks are clearly worried that police don’t have a handle on the deteriorating situation on the streets.
“It’s been a perfect storm to make people a little nervous,” said Doug Vance, co-owner of Vance Outdoors in Columbus.
Vance said it’s been difficult to keep much ammunition is stock for long. Almost as soon as an order comes in, customers are ready and waiting to buy it.
“There are plenty of times we’ve been out,” Vance said.
Thankfully, the 75-year old was able to get his hands on some ammo and wasn’t carrying an unloaded firearm when he was confronted by the pair of armed robbers. Police say the armed citizen isn’t facing any charges because he was acting in self-defense, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this story leads to more residents getting their carry license after they learn about the senior citizen’s run in with the teenagers intent on taking his money and perhaps even his life.