Community leaders, police take action after recent shootings in Evanston

Teen killed, man critically injured

CINCINNATI - A community is rattled after two separate shootings claimed the life of a teenage boy and critically injured a man in Evanston earlier this week.

Both incidents took place within a 24-hour period after 115 days without any shootings reported in Evanston, which leaves some residents concerned.

Anzora Adkins has lived in Evanston 42 years where she raised her children and headed the community council for years. She says the shootings are a wakeup call for Evanston.

"I have a love of this community and I want us to move forward with the revitalization of the community, but we've got to put safety first," said Adkins.

On Monday, Terrence Womack, 16, was shot multiple times around 7 p.m. after he reportedly left the Evanston Recreation Center on Woodburn Avenue. Womack was pronounced dead at the scene by police. As of Thursday morning, no arrests have been made in his death.

A second shooting occurred in the same neighborhood around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Maurice Hollingshead, 29, was shot three times near the intersection of Clarion Avenue and Montgomery Road. He was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

Officials say at least one person was arrested and another suspect remains at large in that case.

As a result of the recent shootings, police and community leaders are coming together to take action in preventing more violence from occurring.

Plans are already in place for officers to increase their visibility in the community, according to Capt. Paul Broxterman, who heads the Cincinnati Police Department's District 2.

"We're going to have a lot of police presence up there -- a lot of uniformed patrol," he said.

Cincinnati City Councilmember Cecil Thomas, a former police officer, is urging coaches, mentors and clergy to talk to young people about nonviolence.

"I believe that when we begin to engage the young people, they will open up and give us a lot more information as to what's going on," said Thomas.

A meeting on mentoring is slated for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the Christ Temple Full of Gospel Baptist Church at the Village, where 27 Evanston coaches will be present for a routine board meeting.

"These are not just sports coaches, they're life coaches too," said Pastor Mingo Petersen of the Christ Temple Full of Gospel Baptist Church, which is the previous home of Hoffman Elementary School.

Petersen said this week's shootings shouldn't be a reflection of the great work Evanston has done over the past year to prevent violent crimes.

Security cameras are another major component in community safety, according to Councilman Thomas. Evanston has currently has three in place: one at the junction of Woodburn and Gilbert, one at Montgomery and Clarion and the third at Montgomery and Dana.

However, there isn't one covering the Evanston Recreation Center parking lot where Womack was killed.

"That's something we probably need to take a look at. We do know that cameras catch a lot of things going on," said Thomas.

Mike Thomas of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission told 9 On Your Side reporter Tom McKee the city's 24 centers continue to be upgraded and in the next few years cameras will be added both inside and outside each building.

Members of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence also plan to be out in full force in the coming weeks.

Adkins vows not to rest until it all comes together.

"No, sir. I will be in touch with all the ones that can make a decision to help us," she said.

Police say both shootings remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.
 

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