COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — Columbus police are putting out a strong warning after a man was left fighting for his life, saying they can't stress enough to find a safe location like a police substation to do your social media buying and selling.
Wednesday night, 25-year-old Kyle Haseley was shot along East 21st Avenue in the Linden neighborhood. Police say he was there to buy a Playstation listed for sale on the site OfferUp. When he met the so-called seller to make the exchange, police say that's when he was robbed and shot.
"We were sitting in the living room and where one shot, " said Dairdre Scriven. "Three minutes later we saw the lights and cops came and it looked like someone had been shot in the street, the car had a broken window."
After Wednesday night's incident, police are learning that there have been other similar robberies. No word on if they're connected.
Columbus Police Sergeant Chantay Boxill says if you're a victim of a crime like this, report it. "We can't try to track down suspects unless the people who are victimized call us and let us know this has happened to them. And that's what we're just now finding out, " said Sergeant Boxill.
And if you're buying or selling, make the exchange in safe zones. Pick an area where there are plenty of people around or at a police substation where there are cameras and police.
"So if you're setting up a deal with someone and you want to pick a safe spot and you negotiate with them, if it's a legitimate deal, they're not going to mind going to a safe spot, " Boxill said.
Just blocks away from where Haseley was shot is a Columbus Police substation, where signs advertising safe internet selling zones were recently added.