OH police officer wounded in weekend shooting dies

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:15 AM

Columbus police said Officer Steven M. Smith died late Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by his family. He was fifty-four years old. Lincoln Rutledge, of Columbus, shot Smith and held police at bay for several hours on Sun after officers tried to arrest him for the fire, which was set the day before, police said.

OH police officer wounded in weekend shooting dies

An OH police officer died two days after he was critically wounded when a man opened fire on a SWAT team trying to arrest him for allegedly setting his estranged wife'south house ablaze, officials said.

Columbus police said Officer Steven M. Smith died late Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by his family. He was fifty-four years old.

Lincoln Rutledge, of Columbus, shot Smith and held police at bay for several hours on Sun after officers tried to arrest him for the fire, which was set the day before, police said.

OH Fraternal Order of Police President Jay McDonald released a statement following Smith'south death, saying Smith was number stranger to the dangers of police work.

McDonald said Smith had been shot in the line of duty before, in 2013.

"While others might've turned away, he heroically returned to duty," said McDonald. "We connect his family and friends in celebrating his life and service while mourning his senseless death."

A Franklin County Municipal Ct judge earlier Tuesday ordered the 44-year-old Rutledge held without bond on charges of felonious assault and aggravated arson. The judge cited concerns about a risk to public safety if Rutledge was released. A public defender assigned to Rutledge declined to discuss the charges against him.

Rutledge'south former employer, OH State University, and others have commented on Rutledge'south erratic behavior in recent months.

A statement from the Univ says Rutledge resigned April three, two thousand sixteen as an information technology security engineer there while on a leave that he'd requested Feb. 1.

"His I. T. and building access were revoked on March twenty-three, two thousand sixteen, when he began to behave erratically while on leave," the statement said. OH State said it arranged for wellness checks on Rutledge and encouraged him to contact its employee assistance program.

WCMH-TV reported that Univ police documents dated March twenty-two and March twenty-three said a co-worker told police he saw weapons, including a gun and ammunition when he went to check on Rutledge and that Rutledge began to swing a hammer at him.

Rutledge'south estranged wife had told police that since mid-March, Rutledge had threatened her with gun violence and had been sought for a court-ordered mental-health evaluation, but number one could discover him, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Smith was a 27-year veteran of the Columbus police force. He leaves behind his wife of thirty-two years and two adult children.

He'south the fifty-fourth Columbus police officer killed in the line of duty.

A preliminary hearing for Rutledge has been set for April 21.

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