Cop Shoots Multiple Bystanders by Mistake Trying to Stop Car Thief

A police officer in Georgia has been placed on administrative leave after shooting multiple innocent people while firing at an alleged car thief.

The Columbus Police Department issued a press release Monday explaining the situation.

The press release did not mention the name of the officer or the alleged thief.

On February 7, the officer was investigating a vehicle in the area of Riverland Drive that was suspected of being stolen.

The driver of the vehicle drove toward the officer in an attempt to flee the scene. The officer then pulled out his weapon in the direction of the suspect and fired.

The suspect was able to flee the scene and elude the police. Police later found individuals who were struck by gunfire. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the incident.

The press release ended by saying "Our Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation into the incident as well."

The press release did not say how many victims there were or how severely they were injured.

Newsweek has contacted the Columbus Police Department for comment.

This comes after a separate incident in November last year that saw three Columbus police officers placed on administrative leave.

A video that emerged on social media on November 23, 2021, showed three officers appearing to hold down a 13-year old girl as she was whipped with a belt by a woman.

Police Chief Freddie Blackmon confirmed that he had ordered an internal investigation after learning of the video circulating on social media.

"The Columbus Police Department has placed three officers on administrative leave following their conduct during the arrest of a juvenile suspect," a press release said on the incident.

"Our office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation into the incident.

"Chief Blackmon has requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct an investigation regarding any criminal action. This case remains under investigation."

The video of the incident was recorded by a bystander across the street. The police officers could be seen holding the teenager's arms and pressing them up on their car.

A woman is then seen whipping her several times. None of the officers appears to intervene while the woman is hitting her.

It is not clear whether the 13-year old was charged with any offenses. Police also did not identify the woman who had done the whipping or if they had any relationship with the teenager.

Police shooting
Stock image of a gun. A Columbus Police Officer has been put on administrative leave after he shot at an alleged car thief and struck multiple people Getty Images