COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A man is dead, a police officer injured, after a shootout with police in a busy parking lot in northeast Columbus Friday morning.
Danny Thornton, 47, was wanted for two other shootings earlier in the day. Grove City Police say Thornton showed up at an ex-girlfriend's house on Independence Street at about 7:30 a.m.
"The 9-year old child answered a knock at the door and was shot immediately," said Capt. Jeff Pearson who told reporters that the boy was the son of Thornton's ex, but not Thornton's child. Jaiden Dixon was taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital in life-threatening condition. His mother says he is being kept alive to allow for his organs to be donated. No one else in the home was injured.
Thornton then drove to a dental office on South Hamilton Road where he shot another ex-girlfriend. She was taken to Grant Hospital in critical condition.
During the investigation to try and find Thornton, two of the man's friends called police to tell them they had heard from Thornton.
"They called Columbus Police and said 'hey, we just got a phone call from Danny. He's said he's killed two people and he's not going back to jail,'" Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said.
Police were able to track Thornton to the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on Morse Road and Stelzer Road. They came up with a plan before moving in.
"This was just not cowboys coming in, jumping in and taking care of business. This was thought out, it was made sure that everybody knew what the other person was doing. We were able to contain him with two vehicles and keep him in a very small area," said Weiner.
When police moved in, Weiner said Thornton got out of his vehicle, raised a weapon, and was shot by police. In the shootout, Officer Steve Smith, a 24-year police veteran and member of the SWAT team was wounded. Smith was rushed to Grant Hospital where he is being treated. Weiner said he was expected to be fine. Thornton died at the scene.
Now the questions of what set Thornton off have to be answered. Weiner says they're talking with his friends and family to find out if any noticed any warning signs that could lead to a motive.
See the press conference below: