Cincinnati has rash of 'senseless violence,' prosecutor says

'It could be a long summer'
Posted at 5:37 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 19:43:57-04

CINCINNATI -- The prosecutor can't remember a time when so many bad things happened so close together.

Between the afternoon of March 24 and the early hours of March 26 in Cincinnati, a driver hit a boy with his car and was shot dead, a young woman was dragged by a car and killed and 17 people were shot in a nightclub.

"We are experiencing a sudden rash of very senseless violence, crime," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

Deters shared new information on the three incidents in an interview with WCPO Thursday.

Jamie Urton, 44, accidentally hit a 4-year-old boy in Walnut Hills on March 24. The incident was "clearly not the driver's fault," Deters said, but Urton was "pulled from his car, beaten senseless and another guy comes out of his house and executes him."

The boy's father, 24-year-old Jamall Killings, is facing charges of murder and felonious assault. Police are also looking for another man, 25-year-old Deonte Baber, in connection to Urton's death.

Deters said Killings admitted to beating Urton and has told police who shot Urton.

"He clearly participated in it," Deters said. "He can be heard on the 911 call telling the kid he did it, was part of it, at least."

Authorities are also reviewing surveillance videos that show 18-year-old Madie Hart being dragged under a car for about a block after she and the driver had a fight, according to Deters. No criminal charges have been filed.

"People, they lose their tempers and they're willing to kill people," he said. "It's just incredible."

It was lost tempers that led to the Cameo Night Club shooting, according to Deters. He described that incident as a fight "that broke out...over nothing."

"They're dancing around, acting like they had guns, and they're aiming at people," Deters said. "And some guy had enough of it, because when you do that, it's like giving someone the finger. So the guy jumps up on stage and starts firing his gun into the crowd."

Authorities have charged 27-year-old Cornell Beckley with murder and involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of O'Bryan Spikes and Deondre Davis, as well as 30 counts of felonious assault and other crimes.

Davis, 29, had also been charged in the shooting before his death Tuesday. Once a bullet is recovered from his kidney during the autopsy, authorities may be able to say exactly who shot him.

But even if prosecutors can't prove who fired the fatal shots, it won't matter, according to Deters. He said they only need to prove that Beckley fired shots in the fatal "gun fight."

"He fired enough shots that he was out of ammunition," Deters said.

He said he hoped the rash of violence would not continue.

"It's really disturbing. These kind of cases used to come up once a year or something, but we've just -- boom -- been hit with all this stuff," Deters said. "I hope it's not a sign of things to come."

Still, at a news conference Thursday, Deters lamented, "It could be a long summer." In the interview later, he said he hoped people would stop reacting to conflict with violence.

"That shouldn't be the reaction," he said. "You know, the reaction to someone saying something rude to you, at best, is 'shut up, pal,' or something like that. It's not to spray your gun into a crowd. It's not to pull a guy from his car, beat him senseless and have your buddy execute him. And it's not to run somebody over, drag them a block and leave the body. That's not how you should be reacting to dinner."