A news photographer trying to take pictures of an approaching thunderstorm has been shot by an Ohio State police officer after mistaking his camera and tripod for a weapon.
The NY Daily News reports:
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot New Carlisle News photog Andy Grimm in the side as he unloaded a tripod from his vehicle to snap pictures of a traffic stop around 10 p.m. Monday.
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Without warning, the deputy opened fire as Grimm was setting up the tripod. The photographer said he and the deputy knew each other.
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“I turned around from the Jeep and it seemed like instant, I heard pop-pop,” Grimm told the Daily News from his hospital bed.
One bullet struck him in the chest and Grimm said another may have grazed his shoulder.
The officer that wounded the cameraman rushed over to help, repeatedly saying, “I thought it was a gun,” Grimm said.
“Now that I’m OK, I’m not so much mad, but when I was on the ground and in the back of the ambulance, I was kind of angry at him,” Grimm said.
New Carlisle News Publisher Dale Grimm said the photographer — his son — left work minutes before the shooting to chase a lightning storm passing over the small town, which boasts a population of about 5,700 people 20 miles north of Dayton. He encountered the traffic stop and turned his camera toward that instead.
He learned of the shooting when Grimm called from the ambulance.
“He said there was no warning, no ‘show me hands’ or ‘drop what you have,’” the paper owner said, while changing Tuesday’s front page to reflect his son’s shooting around 3 a.m.
From the hospital, Grimm retraced his steps leading up to the shooting, wondering what caused the deputy to reach for his gun.
“Until I hear his side, I guess I won’t know what I did wrong,” Grimm said.
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is probing the incident, but Grimm’s father said his son isn’t looking for swift punishment.
“Andy does not want him to get fired,” Grimm said, calling the shooting a misunderstanding.
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