Cincinnati police use video, mapping software and want more witnesses on freeway ramp shooting

How CPD hopes to solve freeway shooting 'puzzle'
How CPD hopes to solve freeway shooting 'puzzle'
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 17:55:59-04

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police are reviewing hours of video footage, using sophisticated mapping software and hoping more witnesses come forward to solve the "puzzle" of who shot a driver on a busy Downtown freeway ramp Tuesday evening.

The investigation is still in its very early stages, police said Wednesday. Detectives don't yet have a description of the shooter, their vehicle or where they went afterward. And they don't know the motive.

"We don't know if he was specifically targeted for something that may have happened down the roadway before," Cincinnati Police Capt. Doug Wiesman said Wednesday. "We can't confirm that's the case, we don't know."

The victim is in "very critical condition" at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Wiesman said. The city's Homicide Unit is investigating, given the unique circumstances and the grave nature of the man's injuries. Sgt. Eric Franz said Tuesday evening he wasn't expected to survive.


The shooting happened on the ramp from the Sixth Street Expressway to Second Street and southbound Interstate 75 at about 5:10 p.m. Wiesman said the victim was likely headed into Kentucky. The bullet shattered the victim's driver's side window. Although his vehicle crashed into another, Franz said no one else was seriously hurt.

Shortly afterward, Franz said police weren't sure of where the shot came from -- perhaps as far as two miles away, he said. Wiesman said Wednesday police now believe it was a much closer range, on or near the roadway.

The Homicide Unit mapped the area and will use software to "help us kind of pinpoint where the shots came from and things like that," Wiesman said.

A nearby Ohio Department of Transportation traffic camera shows the beginning of the ramp, but not the shooting location. Wiesman said investigators were reviewing that footage, other traffic cameras and city cameras -- "hours and hours" of video, he said.

It was the middle of rush hour traffic, so Wiesman said there likely were many witnesses -- but they might not realize what they heard or saw.

"Some of the witnesses heard a couple of pops, a couple of popping sounds -- they're on the highway, they didn't realize what happened," he said. Investigators are hopeful more come forward.

"Any piece of information to help us put this puzzle together would be great," Wiesman said.

Police also had to overcome a language barrier: the victim and his family are originally from Myanmar, formerly Burma. Younger relatives speak English, Wiesman said, so police have been working with them to communicate with the victim's wife, who was in the car with him. The victim and his family live in the region, Wiesman said.

People who travel the route frequently shouldn't be scared, Wiesman said: "It just doesn't happened that often. People are safe."

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040 to leave a tip, or the Criminal Investigations Section at 513-352-3542 to speak with a detective.