CINCINNATI — Grieving mother Eunice McCollum had a plea Monday night for anyone tempted to reach for a gun in a moment of anger: “Play the tape all the way through.”
Past the fight, past the finger on the trigger, past the flashing lights and the getaway. Play it to where she stood in the hours after the June 2 shooting death of her son, 32-year-old Taher Taher, in East Price Hill.
“I saw the gunshot in his head and I couldn’t take it,” she said. “How can you see your child shot in the head?”
Taher was the third person killed in Cincinnati since the end of May.
By Monday, that number was up to at least 19 — a total that included two 14-year-old boys. Anxious members of the community said they hoped a listening session at the Evanston Recreation Center, led by police and city leaders, would help steer the city toward solutions.
Some of the suggestions there, intermingled with passionate calls for someone to do something, included mentorships, legislation and the implementation of trauma centers.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac announced the Cincinnati Police Department plans to relaunch its Children In Trauma Intervention boot camp, which leads children through discussions of leadership, discipline and physical fitness, in 2020.
Until those longer-term strategies approach fruition, McCollum said she hopes her own heartfelt words will help someone.
“Look at the consequences,” she urged potential shooters. “Do you know how many moms and families you’re going to hurt?”
Hours later, police reported another murder. The victim, still unidentified by midnight Monday, had been shot to death inside Amir Mini Market in the West End.
He was 29 years old.