NEWPORT, Ky. — Two people have died and two others have been hospitalized in Newport after they were struck by suspects in a vehicle fleeing Cincinnati police Friday.
Three suspects led police on a high-speed chase from Lower Price Hill over the Roebling Bridge, through Covington and into Newport at about 4:30 p.m.
The pursuit ended in a crash at the intersection of Fifth and Monmouth streets, where the vehicle struck four "innocent citizens," Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said. Two victims remain hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
BREAKING: CPD confirms 2 innocent bystanders are dead following a police pursuit which ended in Newport. 2 other bystanders taken to hospital.— Jake Ryle (@JakeWCPO) August 7, 2020
I’m live at 7 with what we now know. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/sy7XXPaSvE
The three suspects sustained minor injuries and are now in police custody.
Isaac said the pursuit began when a section of Cincinnati officers in a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms task force initiated a traffic stop after completing surveillance of "known, wanted individuals" involving weapons. Isaac said an investigation into police actions will be part of their review, something he said is a standard practice following a pursuit.
"Pursuits are always a concern. Because of the nature of the crimes the individuals commit, we can’t allow them to just roam free. However, we have to be mindful of public safety," he said.
Four medical vehicles were on the scene by 5:30 p.m. — two from Newport, one from neighboring Covington, and one from the Bellevue-Dayton area. Police have not yet released the victims' or suspects' identities.
The Newport Police Department will conduct the auto accident investigation, and will join the Cincinnati Police Department and the ATF in conducting the criminal investigation related to the suspects' actions.
Steve Caminiti said he was driving near the scene just before the crash.
"A car came flying -- maybe 90 mph -- just missed me by centimeters," he told WCPO.
Caminiti said the suspect driver dodged a car in the intersection before losing control and crashing into bystanders outside of Press On Monmouth.
"Crashed into the building. There were some people sitting right past there. Red chairs. Older couple. Plowed into them. One went flying up," he said.