A man who had been shot and called 911 for help was killed after being run over by a police officer responding to the scene.
Eric Cole, 42, was hit by the patrol car in Springfield, Ohio, on Sunday.
The incident took place shortly before 11:30 p.m. before he was airlifted to hospital. Cole was pronounced dead shortly after midnight Monday, Police Chief Lee Graf said in a Wednesday news conference.
“He had, in fact, called and had said he had been shot,” detailed Graf. “He was obviously very scared … saying he thought he was dying.”
But the police chief insisted the officer’s actions were unintentional.
“This was an accident. It doesn’t mean it’s okay. It was an accident,” said Graf. “This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer. I am sure of that.”
Officer Amanda Rosales was driving a police SUV when she hit Cole, a Black man, who was lying on his back in the street and reportedly bleeding from gunshot wounds to his left arm and left shoulder.
Dashcam footage showed Cole being run over from two different angles – one video from the patrol vehicle behind Rosales’; the other from Rosales’ cruiser.
An autopsy of the victim showed blunt force trauma, fractures and internal bleeding.
Cole’s family, who attended the police briefing, and the victim’s mother, Regina Wilson, asked Graf why she wasn’t immediately informed of Rosales’ actions.
“I want the officer held accountable, just like if they get the suspect, they will hold him accountable,” added Wilson.
It remains unclear who shot Cole as no charges or arrests have been made.
Rosales is now on paid leave.
The investigations into the shooting and the tragic accident are ongoing.