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Police Shoot Teen, Arrest Others After E. Columbus Robbery
COLUMBUS (Lisa Rantala/Ken Hines) -- The mother of a teenager shot by police says she has not been allowed to see her son in the hospital while he is treated for a collapsed lung, as well as wounds to the chest and arm.
Police say a 22 year veteran of the force opened fire when he and other members of the SWAT team observed Marquan Watkins, along with his aunt, uncle, cousin and best friend, rob a Dollar General at gunpoint on the 900 block of James Road on Wednesday night.
Police say the five suspects ran to their nearby car to flee the robbery scene, when officers attempted to block their escape. At that point, police say Watkins exited of the car while holding his gun, and was shot.
ABC 6/FOX 28 agreed not to identify the mother of Watkins, 17, who spoke out about the shooting a day after her son was wounded.
"My son tried to jump out of the car and run with a gun in his hand, but he wasn't pointing it at no police officer, she said. He was running to basically get away and throw the guns away."
Police told the teens mom they believe his crew is linked to at least 12 business robberies that have occurred in the Columbus area over a three week period. Investigators searched her home for hours Thursday, looking for any evidence related to the alleged crime spree.
Watkins's mother says her son is one year away from graduating high school, and was a star athlete before the shooting. She does not believe he is responsible for all the robberies of which he is suspected.
"They did commit this, but they're not sitting around doing robberies every day," she said.
As of Thursday evening, Watkins is listed in critical but stable condition at Grant Medical Center. The rest of the members of the alleged crew have been charged with aggravated burglary.
Police say they will investigate the shooting, as they do with all such incidents involving officers.