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Columbus officer buys hotel room for I-670 shooting victim

Columbus officer buys hotel room for I-670 shooting victim

614now Staff

A domestic violence incident escalated to violence on I-670 early Wednesday morning, leading the highway to be shut down for several hours, and leaving a 41-year-old woman with a gunshot wound.

News media, including 614NOW, covered the dispute (see below), but that wasn’t the end of the story.

The fact of the matter was, when the woman and her 12-year-old son were released from the hospital, they needed a place to stay. They were on their way home to Pennsylvania from California, and were stranded in Columbus.

That’s when Columbus Police Officer Don Paden, who responded to the incident, stepped in and paid for a hotel room with money from his own pocket.

“My heart went out to them,” Paden said. “I just thought, if that was my son, if that was my nephew, if that was my sister if that was my wife… what would I want someone to do?”

Officer Paden was called the PRIDE of CPD by Columbus Police, an honor given to officers who perform exemplary deeds in the line of service.



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7/6/16: Shooting on highway closes I-670, now reopen

This morning around 2 a.m., shots were fired on I-670, shutting down the highway between I-70 and SR-315 for several hours.

According to police, an argument between three people traveling in a pickup truck boiled over, leading 41-year-old John Zavatsky to shoot Heather Szymaszek in the face.

After Szymaszek was shot, the driver pulled over to the side of the road, and a teenager riding with them fled from the vehicle.

Zavatsky pursued the teenager, possibly firing additional shots in his direction, but was stopped short when he was clipped by a vehicle.

The incident shut down I-670 while police investigated, but it is now reopen.

Both Zavatsky and Szymaszek were taken to an area hospital in stable condition.


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