Project Nehemiah: Cameo nightclub witnesses must 'step up' to cut back on Cincinnati's gun violence

CINCINNATI -- "At this point, what is it going to take to make you stop harboring these guys that’s committing these crimes?” asked Mitchell Morris from Project Nehemiah.

Talking with 9 On Your Side’s Craig McKee Sunday night, Morris seemed frustrated by the Cincinnati community’s response to the Sunday morning shooting that killed one man and injured 16 others at the East End’s Cameo nightclub.

Watch the full interview with Morris in the video player above.

Police originally reported 15 people were injured, but Chief Eliot Isaac said 16 people were injured during a press conference Monday morning.

Police still don’t have a description of the suspects and Capt. Kimberly Williams said they were having trouble getting witnesses to cooperate on the scene.

"I need for them to start stepping up, being a man, and tell who’s doing these things to you because the same one who just shot you might commit a murder two or three days from now,” Morris said.

He added that the community must “come out like you’ve never come before” and that we cannot continue losing children, mentioning the January shooting death of 9-year-old Alexandrea Thompson in Mount Auburn.

Project Nehemiah is a faith-based community group that works to stop senseless gunfire and violence by mentoring and training people so they can find employment. It also organizes gun buyback programs to get people to exchange their weapons for $100 gift cards.

Morris said he hadn’t reached out to the victims of Sunday’s shooting, but he was looking forward to meeting with them and helping connect their families with others who’ve experienced gun violence.

At a meeting of City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee, Councilman Kevin Flynn promised anyone with information would be protected. The city has a program called Cincinnati Citizens Respect Our Witnesses, or CCROW, that advocates for and supports witnesses of crimes.

"This is a program that is very innovative at the local level, and just know that if you're out there and have information, that police will protect you," Flynn said.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. Callers can remain anonymous.

For WCPO's complete coverage on the Cameo nightclub shooting, visit wcpo.com/cameo.

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