Man Dies After Being Run Over by Police Responding to His 911 Call

An Ohio man died after being run over by police responding to his 911 call.

After an exchange of gunfire Sunday night, Eric Cole, 42, called Springfield police to tell them that he had been shot, Police Chief Lee Graf said. A police report said Cole told 911 dispatchers he was laying "in the middle of the street" and was "about to die."

Cole continued to speak with dispatchers while the responding officers arrived and, after being struck by an officer's vehicle, he said, "They just hit me." In response to the dispatcher asking who hit him, Cole said, "The police."

The report said Cole was hit by the police vehicle at around 11:15 p.m. near the 1400 block of South Center Boulevard. Cole was shot on the 400 block of West Liberty.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Graf explained that prior to the incident, police received several reports of disturbances and incidents in which guns were displayed.

"As part of those calls and part of those dispatch tapes, this is not confirmed, this is citizens calling us in...it was alleged that Eric was out there with other people and there was some type of disturbance and it was alleged that there were guns being displayed, and a few minutes later there was an allegation that shots had been fired," Graf said.

Graf explained during the press conference that from initial investigations, police believe that the lead responding officer to the reports of shots fired was driving on the 1400 block of South Center Boulevard and attempting to look at the addresses of the houses on the road.

"Eric was lying in the street...and the officer did not see him and struck him with their vehicle," Graf said, adding that the responding officer immediately got out to assist Cole, who was transported to a regional hospital.

"He was pronounced deceased after midnight," Graf said.

According to an autopsy report obtained by WHIO-TV, Cole suffered blunt-force trauma his torso, arms, legs and knees as well as receiving a gunshot wound to his left arm. Cole also suffered multiple fractured ribs and had internal bleeding. According to WHIO-TV, the cause and manner of Cole's death were listed as pending on the autopsy report.

Police identified the officer who fatally struck Cole as Amanda Rosales. Graf said during the press conference that pending an internal investigation, Rosales has been placed on administrative leave. Graf noted that police are also investigating the reports of a shooting to discover how and when Cole was shot.

"This was an accident. It doesn't mean it's OK. It was an accident. This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer. I am sure of that," Graf said during the press conference.

At the press conference, Mayor Warren Copeland said, "We are so, so sad about this happening. This is a tragic, tragic event and we will treat it as such. And we will attempt to find out exactly how it happened and what might be done to keep it from happening to anyone else again.

"My deepest feelings go out to the family, as this has to be a really difficult time for them. And all I can tell you is the people of Springfield share your sorrow, certainly not at your depth, but this is a sad day for all of us."

Newsweek reached out to the Springfield city manager and police for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Police line
A man in Springfield, Ohio, died after being run over by police responding to his 911 call after being shot. Larry W. Smith/Getty