Rush-hour shooting sends driver to hospital

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 14, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Gunfire along a busy street left a woman hospitalized in critical condition Thursday evening, Cincinnati police said.

Cincinnati police Capt. Russ Neville said it appears the woman was driving a red Chevrolet Avalanche northbound on Reading Road just south of the Norwood Lateral at about 5:20 p.m.

Someone in a gray sedan fired between six and nine gunshots at her vehicle, Neville said.

The woman crashed into the back of a Metro Access bus just north of the Lateral, near California Avenue.

Neville said the woman, who is in her 20s, was shot in the torso and was unconscious when police arrived. She was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition.

A male passenger inside the Avalanche fled the scene, Neville said.

There was no description of the gray sedan's driver or how many people were inside that vehicle, Neville said.

Initially, police believed the woman was the passenger, but later clarified she appears to have been the driver.

CPD District 4 Commander Capt. Paul Broxterman told WCPO Friday that the driver remained at UC Medical Center on a ventilator, so investigators have not had the chance to interview her. Instead, police have been surveying video supplied by Cincinnati Metro as well as obtaining nearby business' and residents' surveillance video.

Broxterman said investigators found two different types of firearm shell casings at the scene, leading them to speculate this might have been a dueling gun battle between the two vehicles.

Another theory, tweeted out by the police department Thursday, indicated road rage could have been to blame for the shooting, but Neville called that "pure speculation" and said it was "extremely premature" to attribute road rage as a cause.

The shell casings were sent to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, a partner of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for analysis. Broxterman said this will give investigators clues as to whether those casings were involved in any other shootings in the area.

No one on the bus was hurt, Neville said.

Reading Road was closed between California and Andina avenues, just north of the Norwood Lateral, as police investigated. Northbound traffic also was blocked at the Lateral.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040.

WCPO will update this story as more information becomes available.