CINCINNATI -- As investigators work to determine who is responsible for the death a 9-year-old girl, Cincinnati police officers hope a program that aims to protect witnesses will help people feel more comfortable about coming forward.
Alexandrea Thompson, 9, died Thursday after she and her 39-year-old father were shot Wednesday in a home on the 2200 block of Burnet Avenue in Mount Auburn, police said. Three or four men ran off following the shooting, police said, but there are still no leads.
Project Nehemiah Ceasefire, a nonprofit that speaks out against violence, organized a march Saturday, which featured Cincinnati Police’s program, Cincinnati Citizens Respect our Witnesses (CCROW). Community members and Mayor John Cranley urged people to share what they know.
"The whole city's heartbroken for Alexandrea and her family,” Cranley said. “A 9-year-old. You know I have a 7-year-old son, and the idea that a 9-year-old can be shot and killed is just evil.
“It's just not acceptable. We're going to bring the killers to justice."
Karen Rumsey, who is involved with the department’s witness program, said the Cincinnati Police Department “is not standing for any of this.”
“This program that we have now, CCROW, Cincinnati Citizens Respect our Witnesses, is a program designed specifically for -- to support those people that may be afraid to tell or to come forward,” Rumsey said. “But this program is to support you from the day you come forward, through the trial and then afterwards.
“So we just want people in the community to know -- please come forward with information.”
Investigators said even a small tip can lead to a break in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.