CINCINNATI — The West End’s first homicide of 2020 happened fewer than 1,000 feet from the under-construction FC Cincinnati stadium, and the shooter remained at large by the end of Monday night. Councilman Jeff Pastor urged the public not to panic.
“Overall the West End is safe,” he said. “It’s a safe place to live. I know people are concerned that crime is reported, someone gets murdered. I get it. But the West End is a safe place to live.”
Pastor, who grew up in the neighborhood, expressed his sympathy for the family of 24-year-old Mister Williams, who was shot and killed outside a Wade Street apartment complex. The shooting also wounded another man, whose identity and condition had not been publicized by midnight.
Pastor emphasized city records showing the number of shootings in the West End had decreased in recent years. The total dropped every year from 2016-’18; it rose by four in 2019.
He said he believes the number will drop again as stadium construction continues and FC Cincinnati begins attracting more people to the area.
“When you get development like the $250 million stadium, you get different behaviors,” he said. “Different group of people. The community begins to change for the positive, not moving the old natives out, but the natives begin to take a little more pride in their communities.”
And if violence becomes a problem for people attending FC Cincinnati games?
“We want to make sure that the behavior doesn’t continue,” Pastor said. “I’m assured by the police department that there is a plan.”
FC Cincinnati representatives wrote in a statement they were working with Cincinnati Police and West End neighbors to address safety concerns near the stadium site.