Two officers were involved in a shooting that left a 22-year-old man dead at Charlie Bear: Land of Dance early Monday morning.
There was a disturbance in the dance club at about 2 a.m. Monday. Jonathan D. Rodgers, age 22, was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m.
Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Richard Weiner said Tuesday Rodgers died from an officer’s gunshot. He said the incident started as an argument in the club.
“What happened was there was some kind of disturbance, an argument between people inside of the bar. The one individual told people he was going to go outside to get a gun and … take care of business,” Weiner said.
The man, later identified as Rodgers, got into a car before returning outside and shooting at an unidentified man coming out of Charlie Bear, Weiner said.
Weiner said the two officers who were working special duty in the shopping complex witnessed the incident and both shot multiple times.
A Columbus Police press release said those shots “struck the man.”
No other injuries were reported, and a handgun was later recovered at the scene. Police are still investigating the incident and looking for the man who was shot at by Rodgers, according to the press release.
The names of the officers involved were not available early Tuesday afternoon.
Charlie Bear is located at 2885 Olentangy River Road. The club announced it was moving from its previous South Campus Gateway location at 1562 N. High St. in late October.
Some said safety was one concern that led to Charlie Bear vacating the Gateway area.
“There had been several safety issues and security instances over the course of the last couple of years that we had tried to address with Charlie Bear, and certainly their inability to work with us in trying to address those led us to some of our decision,” Amanda Hoffsis, president of Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment, told The Lantern in November.
Campus Partners is a private nonprofit corporation that works on community planning in the Ohio State campus area alongside the university and the city of Columbus. South Campus Gateway LLC is a subtenant of Campus Partners.
Charlie Bear owner Ted Lawson, though, said his reasons for moving from Gateway didn’t have to do with safety.
“I was told by (Campus Partners) that, in fact, they didn’t want Charlie Bear, because one, they don’t like the image. Two, they didn’t like the type of people I was bringing in,” he told The Lantern in November. “They felt that the image that Charlie Bear was giving the area was not good.”
The Monday incident was not the first act of violence reported at Charlie Bear — on Feb. 18, police said a person was stabbed at Charlie Bear’s South Campus Gateway location.
Lawson did not respond to calls requesting comment about the shooting.
Undergraduate Student Government Vice President Josh Ahart said the incident should serve as a reminder to students.
“It reinforces that safety is always the top priority … we oftentimes forget when things calm down that there are still issues that happen all over the place,” Ahart said. “(Charlie Bear) is close to campus but it’s not like it’s in the Gateway or something, but I think it does still affect students because students do still go there.”
He said the shooting raises questions about potential solutions.
“We have to look at it and say, ‘What can we do better?’” Ahart said. “I haven’t personally been there since they moved but anytime that you get alcohol involved, there’s a potential to have issues, so it’s something that every bar can have that happen.”
He said, though, he believes the action the officers present took was appropriate.
“I trust (that) the Columbus Police and the officers there did their job correctly, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Ahart said.
Some OSU students said while the incident was unfortunate, there wasn’t much that could have been done to prevent it.
“It comes with the territory I guess. If you’re going to have bars like that, I mean, there’s not much you can do. I don’t know what to do to prevent it, people are going to do crazy stuff. It just happens,” said John Miller, a second-year in aerospace engineering.
Shelby Lum contributed to this article.
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