A 42-year-old man has died after reportedly being shot by an assailant and then accidentally struck by a responding police cruiser in Springfield, Ohio.
CNN  — 

A Springfield, Ohio, man has died after reportedly being shot by an assailant and then accidentally struck by a police cruiser that was responding to the scene, according to officials.

The Springfield Police Department said several officers were dispatched to Center Boulevard late on Sunday night after reports that someone had been shot, including a 911 call from the victim, who is Black.

When the first officer arrived they were “involved in an accident with the shooting victim, later identified as Eric Eugene Cole,” Springfield police said in a statement Tuesday.

“The victim was lying in the street when he was struck by a marked cruiser as the officer arrived on scene in emergency response,” the department said in the statement.

“This was an accident, that doesn’t mean it’s OK. It was an accident. This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer, I’m sure of that,” Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said during a Wednesday news conference.

Graf said the responding officer, Amanda Rosales, “was trying to catch the addresses on the house” when she was responding to the call.

The department released two dashcam videos that show Rosales’ car coming up to Cole, 42, around 11:22 p.m.

“Eric was lying in the street, you can see from the videos, and the officer did not see him and struck him with their vehicle,” Graf said.

Graf says he wanted to make it clear that he believes this was an accident and not an intentional act by the officer.

“That camera focuses where it’s pointed. It is not an indicator of what the officer is seeing. It is not an indicator of where they’re looking,” he said. “It points straight ahead and it doesn’t move. Human beings inside vehicles move quite a bit, whether looking side to side, looking down, looking over. I just want to make that clear. That is not through the eyes of an officer.”

Officers immediately rendered aid to Cole, who later died at the hospital, the department said.

Rosales, who has been with the force for two years, has been placed on administrative leave. CNN left a message with Rosales but did not immediately hear back.

Family and NAACP dispute police version of events

In a police incident report written by another Springfield police officer, there is no mention of an officer striking Cole with their vehicle. Graf explained that this is because the Springfield police report is about the shooting. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident with the police vehicle.

CNN has reached out to the Montgomery County Coroner’s office as well as the state patrol and has yet to hear back.

The police department met with the family of Cole earlier this week. Graf said it’s a “complicated incident,” and the department has the responsibility to discuss the incident with the family before the media.

“That was very important, I felt that we needed to talk to the family about this before this came out to the media,” he said.

Several members of Cole’s family attended the Wednesday news conference and made it clear they did not agree with the police department’s response. The family said police did not initially disclose they had run over him, but they were informed of that incident by the hospital.

Addressing the chief, one family member said, “I just don’t believe that y’all believe that she didn’t see him. I don’t believe in my heart, that you believe in your heart, that she didn’t see him. Because I see him from Perrin (Avenue) and Center (Boulevard).”

The family member, who was off-camera, said, “I see him clear as daylight.”

Members of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP and Springfield Community Police Advisory Team, who attended the press conference, said they were there to investigate this incident thoroughly.

Denise Williams, president of the NAACP’s Springfield chapter, said the organization will be opening its own investigation.

“We will be staying engaged and we will have full transparency to this entire situation,” she said. “We will not leave your side, family until this is over.”

Williams added, “We cannot do our work if there’s violence in the streets. We can’t do our investigation, if there’s violence in the streets. So I am calling on you, I’m calling on the community, we must stay calm in order for us to do our due diligence.”

Graf said the state patrol’s investigation into the vehicle accident will be handled like all others.

“We have citizens that have accidents every day,” he said. “We have citizens that have hit other citizens, vehicle-pedestrian accidents. And the idea that there’s a difference in how that citizen’s treated versus the officer – no, that’s not going to happen.”