Columbus police shoot stabbing suspect Benjamin Kelch

Body camera video released Thursday by Columbus police shows officers confronting a knife-wielding man Tuesday afternoon who stabbed three people, including another man he approached on the porch of a home from the Far East of the city.

Columbus police also identified the three officers involved in the incident, saying they were not victims. Marsy's Law, which the department has invoked to justify concealing the identities of officers in numerous other shootings, does not apply in this case.

According to information provided by the Police Division, the three officers arrived at a home in the 300 block of Hoskins Way and saw Benjamin Kelch, 64, on the porch of the home.

The video shows officers giving Kelch multiple verbal commands to drop the knife. Officers attempted to use a stun gun to subdue Kelch.

The officers involved were:

  • James LaFollette, who joined the department in January 2013
  • Alec Palmer, who joined the department in March 2024
  • David Wrenn, who joined the department in July 2020.

When the stun gun missed and Kelch walked toward a man sitting on the porch who was already visibly injured from a previous stabbing attack, two of the officers — who, based on videos released Thursday, appear to be Palmer and Lafollette – fired their handguns.

Kelch was eventually taken into custody after a stun gun used by Wrenn a second time incapacitated the suspect.

Kelch remains hospitalized. He has been charged with felonious assault, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.

The officers in the videos, while providing medical aid to Kelch, refer to a gunshot wound, which is the subject of a separate investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in connection with an officer-involved shooting. Kelch also suffered several visible cuts that appeared to be self-inflicted, based on 911 calls made by police.

The incident began around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday after a 911 call from someone at the home reporting a stabbing.

A second 911 call came in about three minutes later from a woman at the home who said Kelch had tried to stab her. That caller told dispatchers as officers headed toward Hoskins Way that Kelch was stabbing himself.

While Palmer and Wrenn tended to Kelch and the stabbing victims, Lafollette walked around the house looking for other possible victims, the videos show. Blood is visible on the floor and in other parts of the house.

Three victims, including the wounded man on the front porch that Kelch walked toward when officers fired, were taken to area hospitals to be treated for knife wounds. Police said all three victims were in stable condition and expected to survive their injuries.

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