Deputy shot after chase recovering in hospital, identified as 7-year veteran

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Jacob Heaberlin, a 7-year veteran of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, was shot and wounded when a suspect opened fire after a chase (Courtesy: Franklin County Sheriff's Office)

Deputy Jacob Heaberlin, 29, is recovering at Grant Medical Center after being shot once in the abdomen after a chase ended in a shootout next to a southwest Columbus gas station Saturday night.

The suspect, 55-year-old Darrell Bruffy, was shot and killed at the scene.

Heaberlin spotted Bruffy's vehicle on US 62 just before 6:30pm, after a warning was put out on the radio about an erratic driver in the area. Columbus Police officers and helicopter were looking for the truck after getting calls, according to Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin. Heaberlin tried to pull Bruffy over, and that's when the chase began.

It ended several minutes and a few miles later at the corner of Eakin Road and Harrisburg Pike, when Bruffy crashed. Moments later, authorities say Bruffy exited the vehicle and began shooting immediately. Heaberlin returned fire after he was shot once in the lower right abdomen. Two Franklin Township Officers who had pulled up immediately after the crash also returned fire.

Authorities say they are still investigating and determining the number of shots fired and how the shooting unfolded. It was a crowded intersection, with several nearby businesses, and numerous witnesses who captured video of the scene. Investigators say they have spoken to many of the witnesses, and say if there's anyone who saw the chase or scene or may have video of it to contact them.

The suspect was later identified as Darrell Bruffy, 55, of Orient. Authorities say there was a warrant out for Bruffy's arrest for violating a protection order after a recent domestic violence arrest, but they say Deputy Heaberlin and responding officers did not know the identity of the driver or about the warrant at the time.