Shooting spike brings out fear, anger, tears in Mount Auburn

9-year-old girl among four killed this year
Posted at 10:46 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 22:58:58-05

CINCINNATI  - Jonathan Safarov worries that all the shootings in Mount Auburn are bad for business.

Carol Gibbs worries about the lives lost - especially a 9-year-old girl.

Mitchell Morris worries about a generation of young people going to prison for gun violence.

Right now, police Chief Eliot Isaac worries about how to stop the spike in shootings this year.

There have been 67 shootings in Cincinnati this year compared to 40 in the same period in 2016. That's a 67 percent increase. So, police are putting more feet on the street in problem hot spots, including Mount Auburn.

Safarov, who works at Tri-State Motors near Reading and McGregor, says gun violence in the area is having an impact on the bottom line.

“The main concern I have is customers being scared to pull up over here and buy cars because of what's going on in the neighborhood,” Safarov told WCPO.

Isaac plans to combat the shootings with $300,000 from the city to pay for extra police overtime.

 “Right now, you'll see some extra bike patrol out. You'll see some extra officers out in the neighborhood really focus in on the areas where we're starting to see some increases,”  Isaac said.

Safarov was happy to hear that.

“That's very good. It will help out a lot. The more police, the less the crime,” he said.

“Any extra attention is great and I think everybody in the community would agree with that,” said Gibbs, a neighborhood activist.

But Reading and McGregor isn't the only problem hot spot, according to Gibbs.

”There's a lot more going on in Mount Auburn. We've had four murders in less than a month - one being a child,” Gibbs said.


She was referring to 9-year-old Alexandrea Thompson, shot and killed as her dad was wounded trying to shield her in their house.

“It all seems to be drug-related. From what the police tell us, it's drug-related,” said Gibbs.

That's why Phoenix Outreach mentor Mitchell Morris devotes his days to solving the problem. 

“In my community we're losing so many young people to 20 to 30 years in the penitentiary for pulling the trigger and then we've got the death end - people dying to gun violence,” Morris said.

How bad is the shooting spike? Police data shows one person was shot three different times in three different locations.