CINCINNATI -- For Cincinnati Police Detective Carl Blackwell, helping the victims of violent crime comes bundled with a paradox: The only way he can effectively serve the families left in heartbreaking grief or fear after a crime is by keeping his own heart out of the picture entirely.
Even when the victim is a child.
"You only get one shot at a crime scene, so you can't get your emotions wrapped up in it," Blackwell said Tuesday. "I'm going to treat everybody the same and work as hard as I can."
Blackwell is one of the detectives working to track down the person who shot 10-year-old Christopher Foree in Avondale over the weekend. Foree had been walking along the street with his older sister, Damiah Davis, when the shooter opened fire; despite Davis' attempts to shield him, bullets struck Foree in the neck and hand. She held him in her arms as he bled onto the sidewalk.
It could have been worse: Unlike 9-year-old Alexandrea Thompson, killed just a few miles away in January, Foree will recover from his wounds.
That doesn't mean it's not bad. And Blackwell's refusal to let his feelings cloud his work doesn't mean he's any less driven to see it solved.
According to Blackwell, the gap between an unsolved case like Thompson's and a successful conviction can be closed by a single person's decision to come forward and share what they know about the crime.
"A lot of times we may know who the suspect is, but we just don't have enough evidence to solve it," he said. "It could be the difference of one witness coming forward."
Police ask anyone with information in Foree or Thompson’s shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.