Preliminary autopsy: Man run over by Springfield cruiser had blunt-force trauma, gunshot wound

Eric Eugene Cole. CONTRIBUTED
Eric Eugene Cole. CONTRIBUTED

Cause of death is pending.

The man who was shot by an unknown assailant and then run over by a responding officer had blunt-force trauma to several body parts along with a gunshot wound, according to preliminary autopsy report by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Eric Eugene Cole, 42, of Springfield, died Monday morning after the incident on Sunday night on South Center Boulevard.

In the coroner’s investigator report, the office said a nurse at Miami Valley Hospital notified them of Cole’s death. It says a coroner investigator called Springfield police about the death and a sergeant said he “may have been struck by a vehicle and shot in the left arm.”

Officers were dispatched around 11:22 p.m. Sunday to the 1400 block of South Center Boulevard on a report of someone shot. Officer Amanda Rosales was the first officer to respond to the scene and was “involved in an accident” with Cole, according to police.

The preliminary findings show that Cole had blunt-force trauma to his torso, including abrasions on his back and lower chest, lacerations on his left shoulder and back, and fracture of his sternum and of multiple ribs.

He also had blunt-force trauma of his extremities, including bruises on his right arm, abrasions on his arms, left knee and legs, and a gunshot in his left arm.

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Cole’s cause of death is pending, the report stated. The caliber of the weapon used to shoot Cole is unknown, and no one is in custody at this time.

Funeral services have been set with visitation at noon and service at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, at Restored Life Ministries, 1117 Innisfallen Ave. in Springfield. The burial will follow at Ferncliff Cemetery, according to his obituary.

Cole’s family demanded answers and voiced concerns about his death and the response to the scene at a press conference earlier this week.

The family of Eric Cole, a man who died after he was shot Sunday and ran over by a responding police cruiser, raised concerns about his death during a press conference on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. BILL LACKEY / STAFF
The family of Eric Cole, a man who died after he was shot Sunday and ran over by a responding police cruiser, raised concerns about his death during a press conference on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. BILL LACKEY / STAFF

His cousin, Donita Cosey, said that the family feels that the police are not being fully transparent and that the family was not told sooner that Cole was struck by a police vehicle. She said that the family was only notified later that it was a police vehicle that hit Cole.

Regina Wilson, Cole’s mother, said she didn’t know her son had been hit by a police cruiser until a doctor at Miami Valley Hospital told her. A police officer at the scene just said he was shot in the arm, she said.

Regina Wilson, the mother of Eric Cole, asks questions about her son's death during a press conference with City of Springfield officials Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Regina Wilson, the mother of Eric Cole, asks questions about her son's death during a press conference with City of Springfield officials Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said Rosales did not see Cole on the street because she was reportedly looking at houses for addresses and the officer stopped immediately and began to render aid after the incident.

According to records obtained by the Springfield News-Sun, at least seven people called 911 regarding the shooting incident, including Cole.

“Please come and get me. I’m about to die… I’m in the middle of the street,” Cole told 911 dispatchers. “Somebody shot me in the arm. I don’t know who shot me. I’m dying.”

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Cosey said she is in disbelief and asked how the officer did not see her cousin on the road.

According to the recordings, Cole was also on the phone with dispatchers when he was struck by a cruiser.

He is heard on the call saying, “They just hit me, the police.”

Rosales has been placed on administrative leave, Graf said.

“This was an accident,” Graf said at the press conference. “That doesn’t mean it’s OK. This was not an intentional act by the officer. I am sure of that.”

Springfield police are investigating the shooting and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident involving Rosales.