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'Not all of his shots were up in the air': Lead prosecutor says two suspects were exchanging gunfire in Covington shooting

Covington police cruiser shooting crime tape
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 17:52:21-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — The two people arrested in connection to a quadruple shooting in Covington faced judges for the first time Thursday.

Police said dozens gathered to watch two teenage girls fist fight near Russell Street at around 6:45 p.m. Monday. Rob Sanders, the lead prosecuting attorney, said bystander video shows the fight grow more violent before Thomas Brown, 41, fired a gun in the air.

That's when police said gunfire was exchanged, with bullets hitting Brown and three children.

Police arrested Brown Tuesday after he was released from UC Medical Center. He was in court in Hamilton County Thursday where he waived extradition. Brown will now go to Kenton County Detention Center to face the charges against him there. Once booked, he will have a bond hearing.

Sanders said while Brown originally fired into the air, "not all of his shots were up in the air."

"It’s very clear in that video that the two people with the guns were exchanging gunfire at one another and, unfortunately, a lot of other people got hit as well,” Sanders said.

The second suspected shooter, a 17-year-old, was in a Kenton County juvenile courtroom. A judge will decide if he should face charges as an adult in a hearing April 27.

Sanders said he believes the teenager meets the criteria to be charged as an adult.

“Any time a juvenile uses a gun in the commission of a felony offense, that juvenile is eligible for transfer to be tried as an adult,” Sanders said. “It’s not automatic, but they’re eligible.”

Sanders said the teenager also meets the criteria of being accused of committing a class B felony violent offense.

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A teenager who witnessed the shooting hid her identity for protection but described Wednesday an increase in youth violence.

“You gotta know how to fight living in Covington, and if you don’t know how to fight, you better go get a gun,” the girl said. “That’s what everybody’s been doing. That’s the only resolution. And we too young to be doing it, but that’s what everybody thinks is okay now.”

Sanders said he is not sure the increase in violence is specific to Covington or a greater societal problem.

“Now, when there’s a fistfight, you never know when it’s going to devolve into a shooting at a moment’s notice, and I think that’s what happened in this case," Sanders said.

He said he wants parents to warn children to run away from any fights because of that risk. The 14-year-old shot is still in the hospital in critical but stable condition. The 7- and 11-year-olds were released from the hospital Wednesday.

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Court docs: Man wounded and charged in shooting that injured 3 children fired first shots into the air