UPDATE: Upper Arlington police say two houses, two vehicles hit by gunfire in latest incident

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group

The Upper Arlington Police Division is investigating incidents in which three homes and two vehicles have been struck by gunfire in the past three weeks. 

Through a statement Feb. 17, the department reported an incident had occurred at a house in the 2000 block of Middlesex Road about 8 p.m. Feb. 16.

Upper Arlington police badge

On Feb. 19, the department said "as the investigation has continued, it had been discovered that a total of two homes and two vehicles were struck."

"Both homes and one vehicle were struck on Middlesex Road and another vehicle was struck on Fenwick Road. At this early stage of the investigation, there does not appear to be a connection with any of the victims of the Feb. 16 incident or with the victims of a previous shots fired incident on Berkshire Road that occurred on Jan. 23."

On Jan. 23, UAPD opened an investigation after a house in the 1700 block of Berkshire Road was hit with gunfire. The Columbus Dispatch reported the home is owned by Dr. Mary Kathleen Francis, the assistant medical director for the Ohio Department of Health, who was not home at the time.    

On Feb. 19, UAPD released three calls to the division related to reports of shootings in the area. 

The first report came at 7:44 p.m. Feb. 16 from a man in a home on the 2500 block of Middlesex. 

"We just had a bullet come through the house," the man told a Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center dispatcher. "We were upstairs and heard something. It was just a sharp noise. We didn't hear anything from outside."

No one was hurt, but the man told police said he heard a "pop" that sounded like something had short-circuited. He then noticed "fragments of wall" on his floor and the spotted a hole on a wall inside the house. 

"There's a hole in the one wall I can stick my thumb in almost," he said. "It's a cinch it wasn't a BB gun." 

In a call received at 12:19 p.m. Feb. 17, a woman in the 4000 block Fenwick Road reported finding a bullet hole in her vehicle parked outside her home a night after she and her son believed they had heard a gunshot. 

"We just noticed a gunshot hole through our car and thought we should probably report it," the woman said. "My son had not driven the car yesterday. 

"He and I both said that we thought we heard a gunshot last night." 

In another call, the time and date for which weren't provided, a man in the 2300 block of Middlesex said his truck must have been struck within the past 48 hours. 

"I want to see who I need to talk to about filing a police report for a bullet hole in the side of my truck," he said. "The truck hasn't moved for a couple days. 

"I just went out to start it ... and there was a big rip in the seat." 

No arrests have been made related to any of the incidents. 

UAPD said in a release Feb. 17 that the Ohio State Highway Patrol is assisting, noting the OSHP has "investigative technologies that the Upper Arlington Police Division does not possess and their involvement is related to the sharing of these technologies."

"The Police Division is committed to a complete and transparent investigation," the release said. "We ask for patience as we continue our work, and we will make information available when it is prudent to do so." 

The division is asking the public for assistance in the investigations, including from residents in the neighborhood "who may have seen any suspicious behavior, who have security cameras that may have captured video, or any persons who might have information relevant to the case,” the release said. “Please contact Det. Matt Smith at 614-583-5175.”

“The Police Division is committed to a complete and transparent investigation, and we ask for patience as we process these crime scenes. We understand the serious nature of such crime in our community and its impacts, not just on the victims but for their neighbors and for our community.

“As a result, there will be an increased officer presence in neighborhoods impacted by these criminal acts. We ask community members to remain aware and report suspicious behavior by calling the non-emergency number at 614-459-2800.”

In addition to the increased patrols, the city recently launched a Citizen Camera Partnership through which officials hope homeowners and businesses will tell the division about any surveillance cameras on their properties.  

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate