Police investigate cellphone footage of mock drive-by shooting in West Price Hill

CPD: It's not a joke to us
Posted at 11:28 AM, Sep 15, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Drive-by shootings are no laughing matter, but it sure was to the people who posted a video to Facebook showing about 10 pedestrians in West Price Hill scattering to evade what they thought was a life-or-death situation.

Watch the video in the player above. WARNING: Video contains graphic imagery and language.

"It's not a joke to us," said Aaron Jones, commander of Cincinnati Police District Three. "These individuals put fear and chaos into the hearts of these citizens and we're taking it very seriously."

The minute-long cellphone footage posted Tuesday shows a man -- who claims to be 19 on Facebook -- waving a gun out the rear window of a car speeding down Ross Avenue between Glenway and Warsaw avenues as children and adults dive out of the potential line of fire.

The gun clicks more than a dozen times as the shooter cackles wildly for about 30 seconds, saying "they (expletive) mad as hell."

Jones said it's impossible to tell, from the video alone, if the gun shown is real or fake.

"The citizens that were on the street believed it was real and they're running for cover," he said. "Someone who is in fear of their life could have taken appropriate action to defend themselves."

Cincinnati police are investigating the origin of the video to identify the shooter and the male driver pictured.

"It shocked me to see that it was kids involved," said Kree Smith, who works in Price Hill. "Even if it was a sick game or whatever... it's no game."

This incident comes just as police in Columbus responding to a report of an armed robbery shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who they said pulled a gun from his waistband, which was later determined to be a BB gun.

"What occurred is just unacceptable, completely unacceptable," Jones said. "To put citizens in fear that way and to laugh and joke about it afterward? Unbelievable."

Cincinnati City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said she was sad and disheartened to see one of Cincinnati's young people displaying such a violent act on social media.

"We need to engage our youth in a positive way, ensure they have and can exercise more productive options, and model the way for them," Simpson said. "Our violence prevention work will address these concerns. We can't wait; the time is now."

Please call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040) if you have any information about the subjects involved. Any victims of this incident may contact District Three police at (513) 263-8300.