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Quadruple shooting suspect in police custody after Westwood incident that left 2 kids critically injured

Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 23:03:04-04

CINCINNATI — Police have identified a suspect in the quadruple shooting in Westwood that left two young boys critically injured over the weekend.

Cincinnati police spokesperson Emily Szink said Tuesday morning that 19-year-old Darius Harris Jr. has been charged with four counts of felonious assault. Harris was released from the hospital into police custody Tuesday evening, after also suffering a gunshot wound during Saturday night's incident. He is currently being held in the Hamilton County Jail and is scheduled to be in front of a judge Wednesday morning.

"I want his family to feel what I feel. I do, and I want justice," said Marcella Thompson.

She spoke to WCPO Tuesday outside Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Her son, Marcellus Whitehead, is the eight-year-old who was shot in this case. She said bullets hit him in the head and leg, and he is in a medically induced coma.

"An innocent, eight-year-old boy. Honor role student," said Thompson.

The shooting happened Saturday around 6:30 pm, police said, near a convenience store at the intersection of McHenry and Cavanaugh avenues. Bullets hit the 8-year-old, a 6-year-old, an 18-year-old and 19-year-old Harris. Police said a bullet also landed in a 7-year-old's shoe.

Police are still investigating to find out if someone shot back at Harris, hitting him, or if it was a stray bullet of his own.

Everyone was out of the hospital as of Tuesday morning, police say, except the 8-year-old and Harris.

"I want to know why would you do that in broad daylight when you see all these kids out there with all these bookbags running around," said Thompson.

Westwood ranks among those with the most gun violence in Cincinnati, according to Cincy Insights.

Cincinnati Citizens Respect Our Witnesses is a program that works to help people feel safer when reporting suspicions of crime to police.

"I've been doing this for a while, and I'll tell you: Most the people in the community will tell you like, 'I would come forward, but I don't want my name out there. I'm afraid of retaliation,'" said Karen Rumsey, CCROW program director.

She said her team can provide emergency hotels or relocate you to a new home and they can help install panic alarms in your home.

"If we got to move a person right away, we can do that," said Rumsey.

She said they provide counseling and work to keep your information out of court documents.

"There are people in our community that have those little keys that it would take to solve some of these cases, and if folks are afraid, call us," said Rumsey.