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Shooting anxiety rises after 25 shot in eight days in Cincinnati

The rash of violence included a shooting Wednesday in Over-the-Rhine that injured three children and one adult
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Posted at 12:08 AM, Jun 04, 2023

CINCINNATI — From 2022 to 2023, the number of homicides year to date has fallen from 33 to 23 according to Cincinnati Police crime data. However, a recent surge of gunfire has Cincinnati communities on edge as we head into the second half of 2023.

25 people have been shot in eight days across the city with the most notable being Wednesday's shooting in Over-the-Rhine near Grant Park that injured three children and one adult on McMicken Avenue.

A few blocks from that crime scene is Findlay Market and Eli's BBQ where manager Sarah Miller has been increasingly concerned by violent crime in the region.

"When there is high amounts of crime, we don't get as much business and it really hurts the amount of sales we're getting," Miller said.

The workers inside Eli's have instituted a policy where workers walk each other to their cars at night to protect them from becoming potential targets of violence.

"We've also had people who have gotten stabbed come through our side door asking us for help," Miller said, "Asking for us to call off our phones, and just having to take care of this person we don't even know coming off the street bleeding profusely."

Ahead of the Reds Game and Zac Brown Band concert, one of the busiest days The Banks has seen recently, dozens of people said they didn't usually think about the potential for gun violence in crowded areas like it, but they often felt on edge in other areas of the city.

"Obviously we're wondering if our city is safe," Carson Simpkins said.

Stephen Stafford recently graduated from UC Law School and said he's paid attention to any shootings near campus.

"It scares me a little bit because, especially living near UC, I get the UC alerts on my phone," he said.

Andrew Barnes said he keeps track of violent events to avoid going to anywhere that seems too dangerous.

"Every time I get these notifications it breaks my heart a little," Barnes said.

In the wake of Wednesday's shooting, Mayor Aftab Pureval pledged to increase police patrols and work with federal agencies to get guns off the streets.

Miller, who has advocated for increased patrols, said she believes the city can avoid garnering a negative reputation nationally if leaders can get ahead of a rise in violent crime.

"My hope is that Cincinnati overall becomes safe over time," she said. "I know it will take a lot of patience and a lot of growth for that to happen, but I think it could."

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