CINCINNATI — Cincinnati city leaders, community members and police officials are reacting after four people died and 14 others were injured in four separate shootings that swept through four Cincinnati neighborhoods Sunday morning.
Community leader and pastor Peterson Mingo said hundreds of people were waiting at UC hospital for answers about the lives of their loved ones Sunday morning.
“Felt like the aftermath of a war zone,” Mingo said.
Neighbors in Avondale said their neighborhood also reminded them of a warzone Sunday morning. Two people died after four were shot in a shooting unrelated to those that happened in Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills and West End.
I’m at Chalfonte Pl. in Avondale. A neighbor who heard everything and called 911 said “it sounded like a battlefield.. it was absolutely horrible.. I’ve never been that scared in my life”. Her two cars have bulletholes on them. @WCPO https://t.co/ltBbl0NKhB pic.twitter.com/bXQpwy3KJu— Paola Suro WCPO (@PaolaSNews) August 16, 2020
WCPO's Jasmine Minor spoke to officers and neighbors in Over-the-Rhine, where 10 people were shot and two died from their injuries -- one at the scene, one later at UC Medical Center.
Quotes from today:— Jasmine Minor (@jasmineminortv) August 16, 2020
“There are more bodies thanofficers.” -CPD Officer
“We can never say ‘Good Morning.’ This isn’t a good morning.” - Neighbor
*Shows leg scars* “I’m 59 yrs old & I got these scars when I was running from gunshots.” -Neighbor
18 victims across Cincy. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/LhmhBpNumo
City council member Greg Landsman tweeted about the amount of death Cincinnati has been dealing with in 2020 due to an uptick in violence and the global pandemic.
The violence is maddening. Record homicides on top of a global pandemic that has cost 84 people in our city their lives. The grief our families are going through is heartbreaking.— Councilman Greg Landsman (@GregLandsman) August 16, 2020
We need a new plan. One that brings everyone together to fight back. https://t.co/pReTnHoTvf
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac announced in a statement the department will shift officers from other assignments to increase the number of officers in neighborhoods commonly affected by gun violence. Isaac said CPD will be using their partnership with the US Attorney's Office and ATF to focus on repeat shooters and illegal gun charges. He said the onus is ultimately on everyone to end gun violence.
"This amount of gun violence and the damage this has inflicted on our neighborhoods is unacceptable. I am calling on all citizens of this great city to say enough is enough! We must not sit by silently and say we can't do anything to end gun violence. We all have a moral obligation to stop the violence and stop the killing in our communities."
Mayor John Cranley issued a statement saying the culture of personal problem solving needs to change in order to see reduced gun violence.
"Let me be very clear, the responsibility for these shootings lies with the shooters—it is attempted or actual murder. We will bring the shooters to justice. I am also calling on everyone to help put an end this culture of resolving personal disputes with guns as well as to reduce the far too prevalent availability of illegal guns on our streets," Cranley said.
Cranley said CPD's reallocation of resources to increase policing in affected communities is necessary during the pandemic.
"The very sad reality is people are getting in trouble when they have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Our police are working very hard to bring the shooters to justice and try to suppress this violence. They will put themselves in harm’s way to protect us all and they need our support."
City council members David Mann and P.G. Sittenfeld called for gun violence solutions on Twitter.
17 shootings and 4 deaths overnight. This cannot be the new normal as 4 families grieve their losses. We have a lot to do working with and supporting our police and understanding how this violence can reined in. We have no higher priority.— Councilmember David Mann (@dsmann115) August 16, 2020
Let’s also be clear about the real goal here: it can’t just be to be reactive once a crime or tragedy has occurred. We must be preventative so that such incidents don’t happen in the first place. And a big part of that means taking holistic approaches to root causes.— P.G. Sittenfeld (@PGSittenfeld) August 16, 2020
Council member Jeff Pastor called for the focus to shift toward victims of Sunday's shootings.
Check back as we update this story with more reactions throughout the day.