CINCINNATI — A grandmother wounded by gunfire is pushing back against people offering to retaliate. Renay Jackson said strangers want to defend her but will not talk with police, which is not what she nor investigators want.
"I don't want revenge," Jackson said. "Baby, let it go because guess what? (There are) innocent people getting hurt over this stuff. I went through gunshots and all this for three summers in a row. Enough is enough. If you're scared to talk to police, talk to me because I will tell it. I'm not scared and I will tell it. I'm going to tell it. It might make me feel a little bit better."
The former cashier is on disability from the mental health damage suffered through her brother Jermaine's unsolved murder, Jackson said. Her father, Charles, died in an apartment fire. Her mother passed away too. So, Jackson suffocates with grief inside her home at times, she said.
Sitting outside and talking with neighbors usually brings some relief. However, that changed two weeks ago.
Two people stole a dark colored Toyota Camry with dark rims and tinted windows on Calhoun Street in Clifton Heights on Thursday, May 12, according to Cincinnati Police. Less than two hours later, the same car showed up on Jackson's street, according to investigators. Authorities said someone in the car opened fire on people outside. Three people were wounded, police said. Jackson suffered the worst injury. A bullet blown sideways hit her knee, shattered bones and remains lodged in her femur.
She was an innocent bystander, investigators said. It is not clear who the target was, investigators said.
"As I'm on the ground, I'm thinking, Lord please don't take me out of here because I still have a grandson who needs me and a daughter," Jackson said. "I'm traumatized. I'm not sleeping. I'm barely eating. My life has not been turned around while everybody (else is) living their best life. That's not cool."
So far, no one is in custody for the shooting, and police are asking for tips. Police said such help contributed to detectives solving one murder and several other violent crime cases in recent weeks.
"That's our commitment to the public: is that we care and we will do everything we can to bring these cases to resolution," said Captain Matt Hammer, Cincinnati Police District One Commander. "But we don't want to see more violence as a result of these things. We don't want to see retaliation. those things have to stop."
With strangers telling Jackson that they prefer to get revenge than talk with police, she wants to send a clear message — Jackson wants witnesses to cooperate with authorities.
"We're certainly concerned when people want to take matters into their own hands," Captain Hammer said. "We're concerned that's just going to produce more violence and we certainly don't want to see that for our communities. We don't want to see that for our children."
Jackson also wants time to heal and help moving somewhere she feels safe.
She is unable to walk or stand for the next 16 weeks while her wound heals, Jackson said. Doctors told her removing the bullet before then could cause nerve damage. She will walk with a limp if all goes well. If not, Jackson could lose her leg, she said.
She started her own GoFundMe page to raise funds to move but otherwise has no means to do so.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati Police encourage anyone with information about the shooting or stolen car to call CrimeStoppers at (513) 352-3040.
'I'm scared to even sit outside': Police say 2 bystanders among 3 shot in West End