A gender reveal party — usually a joyous occasion for expectant parents — turned deadly when two people opened fire in a Cincinnati-area home, killing a woman and injuring eight others, including three children late Saturday night.
One woman also told some reporters that her unborn child died as a result, but officials did not confirm that.
Colerain Twp. police responded to several 9-1-1 calls around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on reports of two unidentified people entering a home in the 9900 block of Capstan Avenue and firing several rounds.
Autum Garrett, 22, of Huntington, Ind., suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died before first responders arrived on the scene, according to Colerain Twp. Police Chief Mark Denney.
Denney said no arrests had been made in connection to the shootings and a motive hasn’t been discovered.
Saturday’s shooting marks at least the third mass shooting to take place on a weekend in Ohio this year. In March, 16 people were injured and one person was killed in a shooting at Cameo Nightclub in Cincinnati. In April, nine people were left hospitalized after shots rang out in J&R nightclub in Columbus.
One 9-1-1 caller said he and the others were in the house watching TV Saturday when two people entered the home and started shooting.
“Somebody just came in and shot all of us…,” the caller said. “There’s a baby that was shot in the leg, I’m shot. It’s a whole lot of people in here shot.”
When asked by the dispatcher if he had descriptions of the shooters, the caller said he had only seen two people walk by before they entered the house.
“I looked outside, next thing I know they just ran in and start shooting,” he said.
Three children, ages 8, 6 and 2, were sent to Cincinnati Children’s hospital with non-life threatening injuries. There were other children inside the home who were not injured, according to police.
Five adults also suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening, including two who are in serious but stable condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to WCPO, our news partner in Cincinnati.
WCPO also reports that a pregnant woman who was among those shot Saturday night said she has lost the baby as a result. The woman, who said she was shot in the leg, is believed to be the woman who was revealing the gender of her child at the party, according to the Associated Press.
Denney did not confirm that an unborn child had died during a Sunday afternoon news conference.
“There’s a lot more questions that I can’t answer than I can,” the chief said.
Denney said there were more people inside the home than the nine who were injured, but police were unsure how many.
He also confirmed the two shooters fled the scene on foot.
Denney said his department does not know if the shooting was random, targeted or intended for someone else. He was asked if there’s any reason residents should worry.
“I would like nothing more in my position to be able to stand up here and tell the community they have absolutely nothing to worry about, but I’m not going to provide statements or information that’s false just to make people feel better,” Denney said. “We don’t know who the suspects are or why they did this.
“We would encourage people to take the same precautions they always do, call our police department if there’s anything suspicious, to take reasonable precautions, to keep your house locked and lights on, but we have no information that makes us believe that there’s any specific threat to our community.”
Another 9-1-1 caller said she was sitting in her car when she saw two hooded men go inside the house and take off running shortly after she heard gun fire. The only descriptions she could provide of the two were that they were wearing hoodies — one blue and one green.
Candice Verga, a neighbor and attendee of the party, said a shooting is uncommon in their “calm” neighborhood.
“This is terrible, it’s frightening. It makes me not want to live here anymore,” Verga said.
Other neighbors told this media outlet that typically the worst thing to occur in the area was vehicles driving too fast on the street and sometimes crashing into a utility pole or another vehicle.
Neighbors said the area had heard fireworks detonating since July 2 and on Saturday, around 11:20 p.m., a booming, house-shaking one preceded a series of smaller pops they initially took to be some follow-up firecrackers.
Those turned out to be gunshots, followed minutes later by the chaotic sounds of sirens as police and ambulances rushed to the scene.
A procession of injured victims streamed out of the home.
“It’s pretty crazy,” one neighbor said. “I saw two men getting loaded into ambulances. One looked like they had been shot in the leg and the other I couldn’t tell.
“I saw one woman on a stretcher, (and it) looked like she had been shot in the torso somewhere.”
Neighbors said the family members who lived at the residence were “quiet, decent people” who moved into the area about two months ago and caused no problems in the community.