By Rick Palsgrove
A woman and a man are dead as the result of a murder/suicide that occurred at a warehouse near Groveport.
According to Groveport Police, at about 5:24 a.m. on July 11, police officers were dispatched to the SK Food Group warehouse in the 3000 block of Toy Road on the report of an active shooter. Upon arrival, officers learned it was a possible domestic situation between the adult female victim and an adult male suspect, both employees of the warehouse through a temp agency. The male suspect approached the female in the locker area of the business and an argument allegedly ensued. The male suspect then shot the woman multiple times with a handgun before fleeing the building.
According to Groveport Police Detective Josh Gilbert, Groveport Police patrol officers arrived on the scene quickly and began conducting life saving efforts on the woman. He said the woman was transported to Grant Hospital where she died of her wounds.
Gilbert said the male suspect allegedly attempted to shoot himself inside the same locker area in the building, but his gun malfunctioned. The suspect then fled the building.
According to Gilbert, the suspect then lay down in the roadway in an apparent suicidal effort to have vehicles run over him. When that failed, the suspect climbed a nearby utility pole. The suspect was found dead at the base of the pole. According to Gilbert, it has not yet been determined whether the suspect died from electrocution from the power lines or from a fall from the pole.
Gilbert said it is not known what the victim and the suspect were arguing about.
According to the Groveport Police, no other employees at the business were injured as a result of this incident and there were no shots fired by law enforcement.
“SK Food Group does a good job of safety training and the company made sure its employees were safe,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert said, in addition to the Groveport Police, other responding law enforcement and emergency agencies that responded to the incident included the Madison Township Police,
Obetz Police, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff deputies, Franklin County SWAT team, Madison Township Fire Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department, and Columbus Fire Department.
Gilbert said the warehouses in the Groveport area are large structures and when there is an incident at one of them it is not easy for officers to know the situation immediately.
“We treat it as an active shooter and respond accordingly until we know otherwise,” said Gilbert. “Our officers run toward the bullets and put their lives on the line. Our officers are human and regular people, but they do not hesitate to confront danger.”
Gilbert said there has not been an increase in violent crime in the warehouse industrial parks in Groveport. He said the more common crimes in the warehouse area are property crimes, such as stolen cars.
“This particular shooting incident stemmed from issues outside of Groveport brought on by people not from Groveport,” said Gilbert. “It is an isolated incident.”
The investigation remains ongoing by the Groveport Police.