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Gun battle that left two dead likely a first for Clintonville

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Last week’s shootout near the intersection of North High Street and North Broadway that left a murder suspect and his girlfriend dead and two police officers injured is probably unprecedented in the history of Clintonville, says Mary Rodgers.

She should know. She’s the president of the Clintonville Historical Society.

“I’m not aware of that particular chase-with-gunfire kind of thing,” Rodgers said late last week. “There have been unfortunate events like murders and suicides. I cannot recall a shooting actually in the street in Clintonville. Someone older than me or more familiar with the long-ago days might recall some shootouts.

“I can’t really say that I’ve ever known of that happening before, fortunately. I glanced through my notes after it happened and couldn’t find anything similar.”

The early-morning peace of the neighborhood was shattered shortly before 5 a.m. May 16 by the sound of screeching tires, blaring sirens, the crackle of gunfire and then the clatter of police and later news helicopters overhead. At least some residents took to local Facebook pages and listservs to complain about all the noise before the magnitude of what had happened became clear.

What happened, according to myriad news accounts, was that police officers had attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by 24-year-old Emmanuel Gatewood of Brentnell Avenue. His girlfriend, 21-year-old Northland-area resident Kourtney Hahn, was in the SUV with him.

Gatewood was wanted for questioning in connection with the April 5 shooting death of Lance Glenn, 29, outside an East Hudson Street after-hours bar.

A high-speed chase southbound on North High Street that began just south of the Worthington border and turned back north finally ended with Gatewood and Hahn dead in an exchange of gunfire with seven police officers in the parking lot of Fire Station 19.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien told The Columbus Dispatch that at one point Gatewood leaned out of the gold-colored vehicle’s window, shooting back at the pursuing cruisers.

Both Gatewood and Hahn died of multiple gunshots, Franklin County Coroner Dr. Jan M. Gorniak told The Dispatch.

“Officers have said that two guns were found in the SUV that Gatewood and Hahn were in, including one with a high-capacity magazine,” The Dispatch reported May 17.

“Court records show police arrested Gatewood numerous times over the past six years,” WBNS-TV (Channel 10) reported the day of the incident. “In several instances, police arrested him with weapons.”

Hahn had no criminal record, although The Dispatch reported Gatewood was hiding in her Karl Road home on at least one occasion when detectives stopped to question her regarding his whereabouts.

Officers Ty Stoneking and Daniel Wolf sustained minor injuries from glass fragments during the incident.

One frequent contributor to a Clintonville Facebook discussion group urged residents to drop off get-well cards for the officers at the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and also to patronize businesses in the area that were closed for hours after the shootout – including Caribou Coffee, whose window was shattered by a bullet.

The other officers who exchanged gunfire with the murder suspect and his girlfriend are Andrew Ross, Kyle Andrews, David Salsgiver, Patrick Daugherty and Craig Haller, according to WBNS.

Clintonville has had high-speed chases through its streets before, Rodgers said, including one that ended up with a car crashing into the now-demolished Clinton Theater, and another where a semitrailer finally came to a stop in a ravine.

But a rolling gun battle is something altogether new for the community, the historical society president believes.

“The gunfire-chase thing, I’m not aware of anything similar,” Rodgers said.

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