Active-shooter call leads to Columbus man’s arrest

Columbus police have arrested a local man after he was accused of calling in a false report of an active shooter at a Columbus gas station.

Police were sent to the gas station in the 1600 block of Central Avenue about a report of an active shooter with multiple people shot just before 1 a.m. Sunday, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

When officers arrived, they did not see anything abnormal and did not hear gunshots, Harris said. Officers saw a man later identified as Joshua B. Stam, 26, 5238 S. Lincoln Village Drive, inside the station holding a phone and asked him to step outside.

When officers asked about the active shooter, Stam took his hands from his coat pockets and a large hunting knife fell to the ground.

When officers attempted to arrest Stam, he claimed they were not police and pulled Sgt. John Luttrell’s police radio and body camera off his uniform, Harris said. As officers were pulling Stam to the ground, he hit Luttrell in the left side of the head, Harris said.

After Stam attempted to bite officers, Luttrell used a Taser to subdue him, Harris said.

Stam was first taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked and later taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, Harris said.

Stam was arrested on preliminary charges of public intoxication, possession of a legend drug-injection device, false reporting, resisting law enforcement and battery on a law enforcement officer, Harris said.

He is being held without bond in jail, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.