A Columbus police officer shot suspected car thief Christian Andrew Redwine 11 times while wounding two other teens after a hot pursuit early in the morning of Nov. 6, 2016, an attorney said Friday.
Mike Garner, who represents one of the two teens hurt in the shooting, revealed that detail after a Superior Court hearing for his client Hannah Wuenshel was postponed.
“That’s a fact that everyone has kept from the public, that he shot Mr. Redwine 11 times,” the attorney said of former police Officer Allan Brown, who since has resigned.
Wuenshel, 18, was in the front passenger’s seat of the Pontiac G-6 that Redwine the previous evening had taken from a family friend, who reported it stolen.
Patrol officers became suspicious about 4:30 a.m. when they saw the car driving slowly past closed businesses near Columbus State University’s main campus on University Avenue. Redwine sped off as they tried to pull him over, police said.
The chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph as the 17-year-old led officers across the 13th Street Bridge into Phenix City and then turned north to the J.R. Allen Parkway. He was headed east toward Columbus when abruptly he exited onto Phenix City’s Riverchase Drive, where he wrecked off the road’s right side.
The police video
Police dash-cam video showed Redwine then shifted the car to reverse, its wheels spinning as Brown fired 11 shots into it with his .45-caliber pistol, then reloaded and fired 10 more.
Garner said Wuenshel was hit in the chest, and a bone deflected the bullet so that it traveled down her arm and exited at the elbow. A back seat passenger, Hunter Michael Tillis, 19, was hit twice, Garner thought.
Tillis took cover on the floorboard, the attorney said. Wuenshel jumped out of the Pontiac and crawled to Brown’s feet, begging him to stop shooting, as she saw Redwine slumped over in the driver’s seat and believed he was dead when she got out, Garner said.
“Apparently they weren’t all hit at the same time, but they were hit in a matter of seconds,” he said. “And according to Hannah, Redwine was hit several times as she was getting out of the car, so he was already dead when the police officer reloaded and shot 10 more times.”
On the dash-cam video, Brown can be heard telling an investigator: “He tried to run me over in reverse, and that’s when I took him out.”
While searching the Pontiac, police found goods taken in two Columbus car break-ins the previous day. They charged Wuenshel and Tillis with auto theft and two counts of second-degree burglary.
Motion to sever
Before Judge Gil McBride postponed the hearing Friday, Garner was to argue that Wuenshel’s case should be tried separately, partly because Tillis has three other pending cases prosecutors could try to cite as “similar transactions” to show a pattern of criminal conduct.
Wuenshel has no other offenses, and tying her case to Tillis’ could so prejudice jurors against her that she could not get a fair trial, Garner said. Tillis is represented by attorney Stacey Jackson.
A codefendant in one of Tillis’ other cases pleaded guilty Wednesday, when McBride ordered him to have no further contact with Tillis as a condition of probation.
“He’s not going to be one of your friends anymore,” the judge told John Scott Davis as the 19-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal property damage and misdemeanor simple battery. Davis is not connected to any of Tillis’ other cases.
He and Tillis were accused of vandalism and battery on April 3, 2016.
In his guilty plea, Davis admitted using a BB gun to break several windows in a home, and to repeatedly punching a man living there in the back of the head. A police warrant said the window damage totaled more than $2,000.
McBride sentenced Davis to five years’ probation, ordering him to pay $406 in restitution plus a $400 fine. Tillis’ charges remain unresolved.
The other cases
Besides the case in which Davis was a codefendant, Tillis is charged in these indictments:
On April 21, 2016, he and two codefendants, a 21-year-old man and 18-year-old woman, were accused of second-degree burglary and first-degree arson for allegedly breaking into a Muscogee County School District building at 4332 Rosemont Drive and setting multiple fires.
On Aug. 18, 2016, he and another codefendant, a 20-year-old man, were charged with theft by receiving stolen property for having a 2004 Yamaha Raptor four-wheeler worth $3,000 that was taken from Porzio Performance, 4804 Warm Springs Road. The codefendant also was accused of having three stolen guns worth $1,695.
The burglary charges he and Wuenshel face stem from car break-ins at Columbus’ Midtown Medical Center on Center Street and the Country Inn & Suites on Fountain Court, police said. Among the goods stolen were a bag of jewelry, a purse, two computer tablets and a name tag, investigators said.
The purse and jewelry were found on the Pontiac’s floorboard by the front passenger seat, and the name tag was found in Redwine’s pocket, officers said. One tablet was in the backseat with Tillis and the other was in a pocket behind the driver’s seat, police said.
McBride has set a Sept. 11 trial date for the two.
This past May, the police dash-cam video was shown to a Russell County grand jury that cleared Brown of any wrongdoing. Brown waived his rights and volunteered to testify before the 18 jurors, who spent two days reviewing the evidence. Prosecutors did not recommend charges, but asked the grand jurors to determine whether the shooting was justified, said Russell County District Attorney Ken Davis.