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Family says man shot to death was shielding his mom from bullets

Woman says she covered 4-year-old as shots fired
Diantes Kemper
Posted at 5:33 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 19:56:14-04

CINCINNATI — Police called the amount of shootings in Cincinnati in the past month unprecedented Thursday.

Officers vowed to seek federal prosecution against those responsible.

A grandfather named Diantes "Deon" Kemper is one of the latest killed.

Police say he died after someone shot him outside a gas station on W. Galbraith Rd. in College Hill.

Family says he was shielding his mother from bullets. Plus, his 4-year-old grandson was in the car.

“My 4-year-old is traumatized. He seen his grandfather get killed,” said Shantez Kemper. “I just don't know how to feel anymore. I’m numb. I’m numb. My dad is gone. My dad is gone. I’ll never see my dad again."

She said her father had just picked up his mother, Kim Thompson, from work and made a quick pit stop at the gas station around 12:50 am.

“Me and him was just smiling in the car,” said Thompson. “He was joking because he loved to joke, just smiling in the car.”

The next moment, she says, she heard gunfire.

”I had to cover my grandson. He’s 4 years old. I had to cover him, and they were still shooting,” said Thompson.

Hours earlier, police reports show, three other shootings took place back to back. One man died at Hawaiian Terrace around 8:30 pm Wednesday. Around 9:30 pm, two people were shot and hurt at Linn Street. Also at 9:30, one person was shot and hurt at W. Liberty St.

RELATED: 'Unprecedented 30 days' of gun violence in Cincinnati

“When I came out the house, I saw a whole bunch of police rush down here,” said Ben Anderson.

Anderson spoke to WCPO 9News outside Hawaiian Terrace. He said he had lost 20 family members and friends to gun violence before he turned 22.

“I’m not the only child that’s like this,” said Anderson. “It’s like it’s normal to see a person with 20 dead homies.”

Cincinnati Police said it is continuing to mobilize all resources and partnerships to address the violence. In a statement, the department said, “We will seek federal prosecution for those responsible for the violence. Our message to those individuals committing these brazen crimes, we are coming for you.”

“My son was a loving guy. He took care of me because I’m sick. He loved his kid and grandbabies,” said Thompson.

Kemper’s family says he leaves behind four grandchildren, two on the way and three daughters.

“I don't know what problem you have with someone, but it wasn't my dad. And you took my dad from me. You took my dad from me,” said Shantez Kemper.