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'We're angry and we're sad': Uptown Rental Properties groundskeeper killed on the job in Corryville

Company offering $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest
Uptown Rental Properties employee killed
Posted at 5:14 PM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 14:12:53-04

CINCINNATI — Uptown Rental Properties said they're working with Crimestoppers to offer a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction after one of their employees was killed while working in Corryville.

Cincinnati police said a 43-year-old man was shot around 3 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Donahue Street. He was taken to UC Medical Center where he later died.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Nicholas Kernan.

Uptown Properties confirmed that Kernan was one of its employees.

"Nick was part of a comprehensive grounds crew that does everything from setting out garbage cans, to sprucing up landscaping," said Uptown Properties President Dan Schimberg.

Schimberg said Kernan has been an employee since late March of last year.

"He was described as a teddy bear. He's friendly and outgoing and he's the kind of guy who would do anything for anybody. And he's a guy who doesn't have a mean bone in his body," Schimberg said.

Nick Kernan.jpg

The company said it is working with Cincinnati police and hopes to get a suspect arrested as fast as possible.

"We're all Cincinnati, everyone should want this guy off the street. Because clearly, this guy is a danger to anyone and everyone," Schimberg said. "As helpless as we feel, we want to be part of the solution of apprehending this guy."

On Friday, police said they have identified a suspect and they believe the person is violent and could do something like this again. Police didn't release that suspect's identity though.

Kernan's co-worker, Aladdin Roper, said they were in the area doing landscaping work when he was shot.

"I just know that me and my co-worker was just doing our job, and we went to go get beverages because it's a hot day out," Roper said. "In an instant, we heard the shots ... and we responded. Come to find out, it was our co-worker."

Roper said officers were already at the scene when they arrived, but none of them could provide any information on what happened.

Just down the street from where the shooting happened is Noble Barber and Beauty.

“It’s taken us all by surprise," Owner, Vernon Jackson said.

Even though it happened so close to his business, Jackson said he still feels safe in this neighborhood that he's been a part of for more than a decade.

“It’s something that we as a community have to get together and figure it out and how to at least come in for the family," he said.

Police have yet to release any information on a possible suspect. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call CPD's Homicide Unit at 513-352-3542.

Schimberg said most of his employees were given the day off Wednesday. The company is also providing counseling services to employees impacted by the tragedy.

"We're just shocked. We're angry and we're sad. And frankly, it's pretty scary. That that kind of senseless random crime, murder, would take place in the middle of the day, with a guy minding his own business, cleaning up some landscaping."

Uptown Rentals is most known in the region for providing off-campus student housing for University of Cincinnati students. The company also owns and operates rental properties in the greater Cincinnati area along with Northern Kentucky and Florida, according to the company's website.

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