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Van carrying Richland Co. students to wrestling championship in Columbus struck by gunfire during I-71 incident

Generic: Day Police Lights
Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 11, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Student athletes from Madison Local Schools got quite the scare Friday when a van they were traveling in on I-71 was struck by a bullet during a "shooter-involved incident" near Columbus.

According to the district, the van was carrying students and coaches to the State Wrestling Championships.

School van struck
Madison Local School District Superintendent Rob Peterson said a single bullet glanced off the side of the van as it drove by the scene.

Thankfully, no one was injured by the bullet, Peterson said. The district reported the shooting to Columbus police. Following the shooting, the van took the students to the Schottenstein Center to compete in the tournament.

"I want to applaud our coaches for their handling of this incident, and we are very thankful for the safe arrival of our coaches and student athletes," Peterson said.

Chaos on the highway
Just before 10 a.m., Ohio State Highway Patrol said troopers responded to a crash on I-71 near Gemini Parkway. According to authorities, a 2014 Ford Fusion went off the left side of the road and struck a barrier. After the crash, the vehicle's occupant started firing a weapon.

Columbus police officers arrived on scene a short time later. The person continued to fire their weapon and Columbus officers responded by discharging their weapons, and the person was struck. The person was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening-injuries. Another occupant from the vehicle was also taken into custody at the time.

Police haven't released any specific details regarding vehicle's two occupants or potential charges.

Police said that prior to the crash and shooting incident on I-71, a vehicle matching the same description was involved in a hit-skip crash on I-70 in Franklin County. According to authorities, no injuries were reported from that incident.

The crashes and shooting remain under investigation.

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