DeWine renews call for gun action after Cincinnati shootings

An outbreak of gun violence in Cincinnati early Sunday killed four people, injured 14 in four separate incidents, and renewed calls for action statewide on gun violence which were first voiced a year ago after Dayton’s Oregon District shooting.

“Ohio must act,” Gov Mike DeWine said in a statement issues Sunday. “As more and more people are hurt and killed by gun violence, I am again urging Ohio’s legislature to pass our #STRONGOhio bill. This bill will help protect our citizens while also respecting the Second Amendment and due process rights.”

Cincinnati police on Sunday said they were unaware of any connections yet between the four shooting incidents that occurred early Sunday, killing four and injuring 14.

“Last night was a horrific night,” said Mitchell Morris of Cincinnati Works Phoenix Program, who visited one of the shooting sites Sunday. “(There were) a lot of dead people last night, a lot of people were hurt, a lot of families.”

Police have identified the four who died as Antonio Blair, 21; Robert Rogers, 34; Jaquiez Grant, 30 and Myron Green, 39. Police did not release the four victims’ home of record, and there were no suspects in custody Sunday evening from any of the shootings, officials said.

The first three shootings occurred just after midnight Sunday, and they happened within 90 minutes of each other. The fourth shooting occurred after 7 a.m.

In all, 18 people ― including 10 in one location ― were shot. Survivors were transported to area hospitals by private vehicles or ambulance. Information about the survivors’ identities and conditions was not available Sunday evening.

“This amount of gun violence and the damage this has inflicted on our neighborhoods is unacceptable,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac said in a release. “I am calling on all citizens of this great city to say enough is enough. We must not sit by silently and say we can’t do anything to end gun violence. We all have a moral obligation to stop the violence and stop the killing in our communities.”

The department will shift officers from other assignments to augment the number of uniformed police in the communities where the shootings happened, the release said.

Given their partnerships with the United States Attorney’s office and ATF, Cincinnati police officials will “focus on repeat shooters and aggressively bring illegal gun charges to address this escalation of gun violence in our city.”

ShotSpotter, the Cincinnati Police Department’s sound-based gunfire detection system, alerted officers to the incidents,

" We appreciate law enforcement and the ShotSpotter,” Morris said. “The community needs a better way to take care of each other.”

One of the shootings occurred about on McMicken Avenue, in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where Rogers and Grant were killed. A total of 10 people were shot at that location, police said. Blair and three others were shot on Chelfonte Place in Avondale. They were all taken to area hospitals, where Blair died from his wounds.

Three were shot in the Walnut Hills neighborhood near Lincoln and Gilbert avenues, but there were no fatalities.

Green, the last fatal victim, was found when police responded to a report of shots fired at Liberty and Linn streets about 7:44 a.m., according to a release. The incident happened catty-corner from a fire station and two blocks west of the new FC Cincinnati soccer stadium that’s under construction.

At the McMicken Avenue scene, firefighters used bleach and fire hoses to sprayed the pavement Sunday afternoon. They were planning to do the same at the other shooting locations.

A woman who declined to give her name Sunday afternoon said she rode her bike on McMicken Avenue several hours prior to the shooting, and there was a gathering in nearby Grant Park. “Something bad happens” whenever there’s a gathering in the park, she said.

Herbert McNair lives on Chalfonte Avenue in Avondale. He’d been home from a party for about 15 minutes when the shooting happened several feet from his house, said McNair, whose street is about a mile south of a police station.

Chalfonte Avenue is typically quiet, and he’s not aware of any violence in the past four years that he’s lived there, McNair said.

By early Sunday afternoon, the neighborhoods where the shootings took place were quiet. Morris and a few others from his Cincinnati Works passed out brochure about their program, and encouraged people to enroll.

“We wanted to do our part for the community,” he said.