Bond denied for suspect in SWAT shooting

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The man accused of shooting a Columbus Police SWAT officer Sunday was denied bond this morning.

Lincoln Rutledge, 44, is accused of shooting SWAT officer Steven Smith during a standoff on April 10.

Officers were attempting to serve a warrant for aggravated arson at an apartment at 14 West California Avenue.

Following the end of the standoff, Rutledge was taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries suffered during the hours-long ordeal. Rutledge was booked into the Franklin County jail Monday night.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said it’s very rare for a judge to deny bond. However, he said it’s clear Rutledge is a safety risk to the community.

“We all know there was a stand-off for multiple hours that resulted in a shot which we now have disclosed in court today was to the officers head. As you heard Detective Pennington testify, the officer is not expected to survive,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.

OSU Police reports show Rutledge assaulted his ex-wife days before the shooting. Police said he set her home on fire. Rutledge’s defense attorney said he didn’t have a criminal past and this was his first big offense.

O’Brien said it is likely this will turn from a felonious assault to a homicide case.

Officer Smith remains in critical condition at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Court officials said this morning that he is not expected to survive.

Officer Smith is married with two adult children. The 54-year-old has been employed by the Columbus Division of Police for 27 years. His personnel file paints the picture of a highly trained officer with an exemplary record.

During his career, he worked on the streets as a patrol officer, in the air with the helicopter unit, in the water as part of the dive team and, most recently, as a sniper with SWAT.

In November of 2013, Smith was injured during a shootout in a parking lot near Easton. The SWAT team had confronted Danny Thornton, a murder suspect wanted for killing his ex-girlfriend and shooting a 9-year-old boy earlier that day. Smith was hit by shrapnel in the exchange of gunfire. For that incident, Smith was awarded a Blue Star and a Distinguished Service Medal.

In this shooting Sunday, sources say Smith was in the turret of a SWAT armored vehicle and that the shot that hit him was “one in a million.”

Read More Here