Colerain police chief: After attack, 'the community has to stand up and fight back'

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 07:15:38-04

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Detectives at the Colerain Township Police Department are receiving two to three tips an hour about the weekend shooting that claimed one life and injured eight others, but Chief Mark Denney said Tuesday night the motive behind the shooting is still unclear.

As police search for answers, community members like Bonita Sergent said they've become worried about the possibility of more attacks.

"I'm afraid that ... it's going to happen in other neighborhoods," Sergent said at a meeting of the Colerain board of trustees. "That it's just the tip of the iceberg."

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Rich McVay, who also attended the meeting, said he hoped police would increase the attention paid to the area where the shooting took place.

"I don't necessarily think you can do anything to stop this kind of tragedy, but on the other hand, the whole neighborhood is lacking for some attention," he said.

Despite their frustrations, Denney said crime statistics indicate rates of violent crime and robbery have fallen significantly in recent years, and his department has made more arrests in 2017 than in the entire history of the township.

Denney said Saturday's shooting, in which two armed men opened fire on the aftermath of a pregnant woman's "gender reveal party," represented a tragic blip in the peaceful overall landscape of the community.

"No one would consider Littleton, Colorado, to be a slum, but they had Columbine," he said. "Those things are going to happen. They are terrible. They are tragic, but the community has to stand up and fight back."

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He added that he, like the township residents at the meeting, wished arresting the shooters and other criminals could be faster and simpler.

"I would love nothing more than, if someone makes a complaint that there is a drug deal in the neighborhood, to walk in and grab them and take them out of their community," he said. "There's a lot more that goes into that."