CINCINNATI -- Three people had been shot to death in Cincinnati's District 3 -- an area spanning Price Hills, Fairmount, Sayler Park and much of the city's West Side -- when May rolled into June 2017. This year, police have counted eight.
Although the number of victims can still be counted on two hands with fingers to spare, community activists such as Cincinnati Works' Mitchell Morris know that a gun homicide rate doubling year over year is never safe to ignore.
"We don't really know what the reason is, but what we're trying to do is put a prevention in and trying to turn this thing around," he said.
And numbers have nothing to do with the amount of grief felt by people such as Ludie Reid, who lost longtime friend Marcell Huffaker to a shooting Tuesday night.
Huffaker, 52, known Reid for more than 30 years. He'd been attempting to build a career in comedy when he was shot to death, Reid said.
"He wasn't a bad person," Reid said. "It's just our environment, the community we live in."
Reid and others who knew Huffaker gathered at the scene of his death Wednesday to honor his life and support each other through the loss.
"We ain't gonna let the enemy prevail, y'all," the Rev. Alvin Scales said. "We can't let the enemy prevail."
Cincinnati police said there was no obvious pattern behind the increase in District 3 shootings, and gun violence in the city at large has actually decreased from 2017.
Anyone with information about Huffaker's death should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.