CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said the violent shootings, possible retaliation and stray shots that killed innocent bystanders this week must stop.
“This week has been a particularly bad week," Cranley said during an interview at City Hall on Thursday. "The level of violence this week is just unacceptable.”
In the past week, five people have died from shootings, bringing the total number of homicides for the year to 74. This is still lower than the more than 90 homicides police investigated in all of 2020, which was one of the deadliest years on record. But the frequency of shootings this week has been dramatic, and the year is far from over.
“We will bring shooters to justice even if they’re juvenile,” Cranley said. “I want the people of Cincinnati to know that our police are working the leads on these cases. And we believe we will make arrests in all of them.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac declined an interview with WCPO. But Cranley said police are stepping up patrols in neighborhoods where recent shootings have occurred, such as Evanston and the West End, and are seeking help from the FBI and ATF to determine what role, if any, youth gangs have in the recent violence.
“How you define gang is debated, but I bet it’s group-related, retaliation-related,” Cranley said. “But that’s one of the things our intelligence groups are working on now, is trying to figure that out.”
Cranley insisted the city is a safe place. The shootings are not random, he said, but stray bullets have struck innocent bystanders. Three people were wounded in a shootout on Short Vine near Corry Street last Saturday night. Then two people were killed in a triple shooting while walking to their car in the West End last Monday.
“To the best of our knowledge, these are specifically targeted individuals … They’re not just randomly shooting people on the street,” Cranley said. “However, innocent bystanders have been shot, who were not the target of the retaliation.”
Police are working with community leaders and juvenile court officials to intervene with youth before more shootings occur. He also pleaded with parents to keep track of their children.
“Take ownership of your kids," Cranley said. "Take responsibility for where they are, what they’re doing, who their friends are. That is what we need."
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