CINCINNATI — One person is dead after a shooting outside a Target store in Oakley Thursday afternoon. Cincinnati police are still searching for the suspected shooter.
Crews responded to calls of a shooting at the store on Geier Drive before 1 p.m. Alias Phillips, 24, was taken to UC Medical Center where he later died.
Phillips was with his brother and sister when he was shot, according to the family. His siblings declined to be interviewed on camera because the shooter has not been arrested and they fear for their safety. They said they don't know the gunman who killed their brother; A man yelled at them and followed them before they entered Target and was waiting with a gun when they left the store, they said.
Phillips' family said he was a Schroder High School graduate working to build a career as a recording artist.
The assistant chief of operations for Cincinnati Fire said it was the largest police presence he had seen since he arrived at the 2018 mass shooting at Fifth Third Bank. Initially, the shooting was dispatched as an active shooter situation. However, interim chief Teresa Theetge said the victim was targeted.
"Once we arrived on scene, we determined it was not an active shooter investigation or incident," Theetge said. "It was a shooter who had an intended target, and he fired his gun and hit that individual in the parking lot just outside the front doors of the Target store."
Police said the man who was shot died and the shooter appeared to drive away from the scene.
While the shooting happened outside, people inside the Target said they ran and hid for safety once they heard shots. Grace Robinson said she heard gunshots minutes after she walked into the store. She hid inside the jeans sections for around 20 minutes.
"I was with another girl named Grace, which felt divinely ordained, and we were just kind of holding each other in the jeans," Robinson said. "And I'm very, very grateful that I was with her."
Robinson said someone eventually came on the intercom and told people the scene was safe.
Rachel Underwood said she was walking out of the nearby Meijer when she heard five gunshots.
"It's too close for comfort," Underwood said. "Just being in this area, there's a lot of people here and anybody could've gotten hurt — innocent people."
Police blocked off Marburg Avenue during the investigation, but the road has been reopened. The Oakley Target location will be closed for the day.
The shooting comes less than four months after someone opened fire in the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter in Westwood. Jamontea Brown, 24, was killed in the shooting.
WCPO will update this story as more information becomes available.