COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – A community gathered Tuesday to honor the first responders who came to the rescue during one of the area’s worst mass shootings.
The township hall was packed with colleagues, families and friends as Colerain honored 27 police officers and firefighters who responded to the emergency at a gender reveal part last July.
It was a crisis unlike any they had seen. Nine people shot – including three children – after two gunmen burst through the front door of a home on Capstan Drive. One woman was killed, but the others were saved by their quick and skilled response.
The 27 received plaques to take home along with the applause from a grateful community and the vivid memory of a night they’d just as soon forget.
"It definitely affects you,” said Tim Beach of the Colerain Fire Department. “I am a father. I wouldn't want to see anything like that happen to my kids, and when you go home, you think about it a little bit.
“But at the end of the day, this is what we do. We are glad we do it, glad we could be there for the families and help as best as we could."
Police Chief Mark Denney will never forget that night of July 8, 2017 or the work of the first responders.
"I had people that were off duty responding just because they knew we needed the help,” said Denney. “Other agencies brought over cars to cover the calls for us while we were handling the situation."
“I showed up on the scene and everything was done. As I am driving there, I am worrying about all the things I need to make sure are done and they have already done that," he said.
First responders got the wounded eight to the hospital within the "golden hour." That’s the national standard for care of a trauma patient.
All of those victims survived.
“It was very hard and most of the guys had kids,” Denney said. “It was something we really focused on after the fact - making sure they were OK. It was tough to see kids in that situation where they are crying for help and there is not a lot you can do."
Fire Chief Frank Cook says training prepared his department for the worst. He said they learned from the mass shooting at the Cameo nightclub in Cincinnati last March.
“You never think it's going to happen in your own backyard, but it happened here in Colerain, and because of the experience and what we learned from those incidents, we were able to act in a manner appropriately that saved lives," Cook said.
Colerain police haven't made any arrests in the Capstan Drive shootings, but Chief Denney says they still get new leads and he believes this case will be solved.
There is still a $10,000 reward for any helpful information about the shooting.
If you know anything, call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.