Mayor John Cranley calls Cincinnati nightclub shooting 'one of the worst days' in city's history

Posted at 11:50 PM, Mar 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 09:36:14-04

CINCINNATI -- Mayor John Cranley called Sunday’s nightclub shooting “one of the worst days in the history of Cincinnati.”

Gunfire killed one person and injured 16 others at Cameo Night Club early Sunday morning. It was the largest mass shooting in the United States so far this year, according to data WCPO has reviewed.

"I’ve spent my life here, and this is an absolute tragedy," Cranley said. "I want to continue to ask everyone in this community to pray for the victims and their families."

O'Bryan Spikes, 27, was the victim who died, according to Police Chief Eliot Isaac. Two other victims are in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Police initially reported 15 people were injured, but they changed that number to 16 Monday after another victim had gone to the hospital. 

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Cranley said he has not yet talked to any of the victims or their families since the investigation is ongoing, but he said he visited with first responders and thanked them for their service.

The shooting was likely a result of an argument that had happened early, city spokesman Rocky Merz said.

Jay Rodgers, the owner of Cameo, issued a statement Sunday evening, calling the shooting that took place at his nightclub "senseless."

Investigators estimated 200 people were inside Cameo at the time of the shooting. People rushed out of the crowded nightclub to escape bullets. One woman dove on the ground outside the club.


Investigators believe there were multiple shooters, and no arrests have been made.

Cranley stressed the importance of the community stepping up to contribute to the investigation.

“We need witnesses to come forward. We need people to have the courage to point to these shooters, and we need to bring these shooters to justice,” Cranley said. “What happened is totally awful, a heinous crime. People should not be victimized by gun violence when they go out to have a good time.”

At a meeting of City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee, Councilman Kevin Flynn promised anyone with information would be protected. The city has a program called Cincinnati Citizens Respect Our Witnesses, or CCROW, that advocates for and supports witnesses of crimes. 

"This is a program that is very innovative at the local level, and just know that if you're out there and have information, that police will protect you," Flynn said.

Four off-duty officers were working a private security detail outside the club. Sgt. Dan Hils, president of Cincinnati's police union, said what they and other officers encountered when they rushed inside may have left them disturbed.


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Cranley said police will investigate the club and its safety protocols. 

"I do know that there were incidents at the club in the past, that they had agreed to a security protocol that included wanding people to go in."

The shooting, he said, shouldn’t deter people from coming together.

"Our hearts are broken, but our spirits are not. We will get through this. We will bring these shooters to justice."

For WCPO's complete coverage on the Cameo nightclub shooting, visit