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Man Killed By Police, Sister 'Understands'

NORTHEAST COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- The man whom a Westerville Police officer fatally shot on Polaris Parkway had a history of felonies.

John William Montgomery, 59, had been to prison for killing a man, as well as drug charges and carrying a concealed weapon, according to court records. 

Montgomery was killed after appearing to confront an officer who had pulled him over for a license plate violation around 1:30 a.m. Monday just east of Interstate 71.

As the officer was approaching the suspect, Montgomery allegedly stepped out of the vehicle while brandishing a firearm. Montgomery ignored repeated warnings and orders to drop the gun before he was shot, Westerville police reported.

Never before this confrontation has a Westerville officer shot and killed someone in the line of duty, according to WPD.

"One of the things we say in police work is there were no routine anything. This is a prime example of that," Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said. "There are no routine stops; there are no routine calls. We're facing a more and more violent society as we progress, or digress."

The officer who shot Montgomery had been in the force for 22 years.

Montgomery's sister, who asked to remain anonymous, said she understood the officer had to protect himself.

Investigators are questioning a female passenger who was inside Montgomery's vehicle at the time of the shooting. She was not hurt, even though the passenger side window had been shattered.

Columbus Police have planned to review the Westerville officer's dash cam video and Westerville officers have planned to conduct an internal probe. An autopsy is to be conducted on Montgomery's body.

Polaris Parkway reopened around 7 a.m.

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