CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati officials are expressing outrage and horror at a drive-by shooting that sent more than a score of bullets into a crowd of children, killing an 11-year-old boy and striking four other children and an adult.
Police Chief Terri Theetge told reporters Sunday that an occupant of a sedan fired 22 rounds “in quick succession” into a crowd of children just before 9:30 p.m. Friday on the city's West End. A 53-year-old woman was hit along with the boy who died; three other boys aged 12, 13 and 15; and a 15-year-old girl. One victim remained hospitalized in stable condition.
Mayor Aftab Pureval called the shooting “sickening and unimaginable” and said it occurred in a vibrant neighborhood next to a local park and near a historic elementary school.
“Twenty-two rounds were fired,” Pureval said. “Twenty-two rounds in a moment — into a crowd of kids. No time to respond. No time to react.”
Pureval said the neighborhood is suffering “unimaginable trauma.” On Saturday and on Sunday morning, he said, people were “shouting messages of love and support to each other through open windows, but they were too wary to go outside.”
“The parents, and the kids themselves we talked to, don't feel safe, and I frankly can't blame them,” he said.
Theetge said it was too early to say whether the shooting was random or targeted, and she declined to discuss other aspects of the investigation. She urged whoever was responsible to turn themselves in, vowing “we will find you and we will bring you to justice.”
Issac Davis, the father of the slain child, was at the news conference along with the boy's mother and grandmother and also urged whoever was responsible to come forward.
“When will this stop? Will this ever stop?" Davis asked. ”How many people have to bury their kids, their babies, their loved ones?”
The mayor said 40% of the illegal weapons on the city's streets were stolen from cars, and he and the city manager urged gun owners to lock up their weapons. He decried both the ubiquity of guns and the “inability to resolve differences peacefully."
This story has been corrected to say the slain child’s father is Issac Davis, not Isaac Davis.