PD: Argument outside teen party led to gunfire

Posted at 9:07 AM, Mar 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 18:39:39-04

CINCINNATI –  A few hundred teens partied peacefully at an Avondale hall Saturday night, but that ended in gunfire and panic after an argument in the parking lot, police say.

Police are still looking for a gunman who fired at least one shot, injuring a 17-year-old girl when the bullet shattered the front passenger window of her car.  She was being treated for cuts and shock at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The teens were well-behaved at the Prince Hall F&AM, a Masonic lodge that had been rented for the night, police said. As the remaining teens were leaving, an argument broke out in the nearby Urban League parking lot,  where some partygoers had parked.

A girl at the party, Rahkina Eubanks, told WCPO what happened.

 "I was getting in the car, but at first I was standing at the brick wall over there. Then I heard everybody like, 'They finna air it out,' so I ran to the car. My best friend was already pulling out the parking lot, so I just hopped in the car. As soon as I shut the door, they start shooting," said Eubanks.

"We couldn’t get out because it was like mass cars trying to get out at the same time."

Prince Hall F&AM on 817 Windham Ave., sits behind the Urban League building on Reading Road, but the Urban League had nothing to do with the party, a spokesperson told WCPO.

"We did not sponsor, host, encourage or condone [it] … but we're saddened that someone was hurt," said Annette Tarver.

Police found the injured girl bleeding and lying next to her car. They don't believe the shooter was aiming at her.

District 4 Lt. Chris Ruehmer said the injured girl wasn't able to give them much information at the scene.

"She wasn’t very responsive with us initially and so we believe she was just in shock. The front right passenger window was shot out and it looks like there’s a bullet entry into the driver’s seat," he said.

He didn't know if more than one shot had been fired.

While no one was shot, the gunfire created a lot of panic with dozens of teens rushing to get away, police said. Many were picked up by their parents.

Ruehmer said more police had to be called.

"There was quite a little bit of panic in the crowd ...  it was a very hectic scene there for a while," Ruehmer said.