Nine people were injured in a filming on the main street of Over-the-Rhin in the early hours of August 7, according to the Cincinnati Police Department Deputy Chief Michael John.
At a noon press conference on August 7, John said officers were called in to disperse a large disorderly crowd outside Mr Pitiful’s bar near the corner of Main and Woodward streets at 1:39 a.m. John said said that while police dispersed the crowd, two of the groups erupted in a physical fight, with two people pulling out guns and exchanging fire near and at bystanders.
The suspects are still at large
John said officers saw one of the suspects shooting people in the crowd just south of the intersection. It was then that Civil Disturbance Response Team Officer Joe Shook shot the suspect once. CPD does not know if the bullet made contact with this person, who then fled east towards Sycamore Street. The two suspects who fired into the crowd are still at large.
“I thank God there were no fatalities last night,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said at the press conference.
According to the CPD, eight men and a woman were killed during the exchange of gunfire. They are between 23 and 47 years old.
“There is no doubt that the actions of Officer Joe Shook saved lives, no doubt,” John said.
John said a total of 15 bullets were fired during the shootout, including the shot fired by Shook.
“Bang balls” – instruments used by police to create a loud sound intended to disperse crowds – were used when crowds interfered with coming to the aid of the injured, John said. Responding officers then applied tourniquets to victims at the scene.
The nine people who were shot were discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, John said.
In addition to the shooting on Main Street, John said there was a shooting in the downtown central business district that left two people injured. Police do not believe the incidents are related.
City officials ask for help
John said police presence was already high on Main Street due to large crowds that have gathered in the area in recent weeks. The street is home to many busy bars, restaurants and nightclubs which are usually full on weekends.
“We want everyone to come downtown and have a good time, but personal responsibility has to trump these ridiculous and extravagant jams happening in our city,” said Scotty Johnson, a member of the city council of Cincinnati.
John said the Cincinnati Police Department wanted to be involved in conflict resolution before the guns were fired.
“You have heard of conflict resolution. That’s our job – call us,” he said. “If you are involved in a conflict and feel threatened, call us to resolve it for you.”
The bar staff are traumatized
Lindsey Swadner, owner of The Hub OTR bar at 1209 Main St., attended the press conference seeking mental health support for her bar staff, who she says have been deeply distressed by this shooting and other shootings on Main Street in the past. In recent years, Cincinnati has struggled with gun violence on the subway, especially during the summer months.
“The bartenders there are traumatized, I’m traumatized, I can’t sleep. My bartenders had to run home, we were all awake until 5 a.m.,” Swadner said. CityBeat.
Swadner said she was shot by a gun in July while outside the Hub.
“We really need mental health help for bartenders,” Swadner said.
“And we have it,” Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney told Swadner after the news conference. “We have all these people from the Cincinnati health department who are really, really good.”
As of press time, Swadner is unsure whether she will open The Hub on Sunday, saying her staff are gutted from the traumatic experience.
“I witnessed non-stop shooting,” Swadner said.
Main Street reopened on Sunday morning after police closed the block for several hours to investigate.
The Cincinnati Police Department is asking the public to contact the Criminal Investigations Section at 513-352-3542 for any information related to the shooting.
Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterGoogle News, Apple News and Reddit.
Send CityBeat a news or story tip or submit a calendar event.