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Police Chief Eliot Isaac says spike in fatal shootings won't change his strategy

Eight killings in two weeks have residents alarmed
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 01:33:42-04

CINCINNATI — Charles Head lives around the block from the scene of another fatal shooting in Lower Price Hill on Sunday. It was the eighth fatal shooting in the city in two weeks, and he and other residents are alarmed.

“My brother, he says he’s going to step outside his house someday and he’s probably going to get shot,” said Head.

“I’ve got my grandson and it worries me. I go out with him to make sure he’s safe.”

Police Chief Eliot Isaac spoke to City Council on Monday morning about the recent spike of shootings city-wide - 35 in the last 30 days - and said he’s confident in his policing strategies and there are no plans to change them.

“Very confident that we have the strategies in place to mitigate this,” Isaac said. “We are constantly looking at opportunities to deploy folks where we need them.”

Isaac noted that the shootings haven't been concentrated in one part of town.

“We’re seeing them happen all over our city, which is disturbing, but we’ve seen this happen before,” Isaac said.

Isaac pointed out that shootings and homicides are actually down in Cincinnati year over year, with 22 homicides this year compared to 31 at this point last year.

But that’s not comforting to Head and others who live where the shootings are happening.

Since May 30, there have been other fatal shootings in Columbia-Tusculum, Evanston, East Price Hill, the West End and Mount Airy, plus two in Bond Hill.

There have not been any arrests in six of those shootings. A suspect in Sunday's shooting, Navonta Snow, was captured a few later and is being held on $1 million bond.

Officers will continue to rely on ShotSpotter, mounted cameras and community relationships in trying to reduce shootings.

In July, Price Hill will be next to get the ShotSpotter technology that has cut down on gun violence in Avondale. The department is also seeking grant funding to place the technology in other neighborhoods.

In the meantime, with summer about to heat up, Head hopes cooler heads will prevail.

“Everyone’s got their own problems and I don’t know what they are and how they are going to work it out. But I know guns - shooting and killing - is not the answer,” Head said.

Community leaders hope residents will step up to put an end to this.

“I’m just hoping that the community will just get tired of this happening,” said Mitchell Morris.

Morris is with the Cincinnati Works “Phoenix Program,” working to end gun violence. Morris said it’s up to the community to say enough is enough.

“So when the community gets real sick and tired and says, ‘We’re going to put our foot down and we’re not going to allow this anymore. We’re trying to save our babies.’ ”

Morris said he hopes more dialogue can lead to change.

“I tell everyone when we’re out there, ‘We love you. And we’re here to help you.’”

Morris said he’ll be out on the streets in Mount Airy on Tuesday, telling people what help is available to them and how to avoid getting wrapped up in gun violence.