Even though there is no statute of limitations on attempted murder of a police officer, Charles Hays will not face prosecution for the shooting of Columbus police officer Niki Cooper.

In 1961 Niki Cooper graduated from high school after being a standout football player for his school. He received an athletic scholarship from the University of Tennessee, but after a short time in college, Cooper returned to Columbus, Ohio where he married his high school sweetheart.

Being a responsible husband, Cooper joined the Columbus Police Department and worked his way into the elite D Platoon, which was a fast-responding SWAT-like groups of trained officers.

On March 15, 1972, Cooper and his partner Officer Robert Stout, responded to a call to a new subdivision on the city’s southeast side. There had been a rash of burglaries and the D Platoon was ready to respond to any calls in hopes of catching and stopping the burglars.

Arriving on the scene, Stout went to the back of the house and Cooper remained out front, speaking with the homeowners. Stout surprised the two burglars and managed to get one of them, William Viars, in handcuffs. The second burglar, Charles Hayes, ran around the front of the house where Cooper gave pursuit. Hayes pulled his gun and shot Cooper in the upper left arm. Cooper returned fire and then wrestled with Hayes as the burglar tried to get Cooper’s gun from him. Hayes was shot 4 times and was hospitalized. Cooper than ran to Stout, telling him that he had been shot.

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