Woman killed, 8 wounded at Cincinnati area gender reveal

Cincinnati gender reveal party shooting

The family had gathered Saturday to celebrate an upcoming life.

But by Sunday morning, they were beginning to think about planning a funeral and mourning the loss of a fetus.

A 21-year-old mother-to-be invited friends and relatives to her home in Colerain Township in the 9900 block of Capstan Drive to reveal that she was pregnant and would give birth to a baby boy.

The party had ended, but more than a dozen stayed behind. The group had just turned out the lights to watch one of the “Spider-Man” films when two men in hoodies came in the front door. They sprayed the living room with gunfire, said a family member who was at the party and asked not to be identified because she feared for her safety.

Autum Garrett, 22, of Huntington, Indiana, was killed and eight others were injured, including three children ages 8, 6 and 2. Two adults remained hospitalized at University of Cincinnati Medical Center Sunday evening.

Garrett suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police had not made any arrests by Sunday evening.

The children did not suffer life-threatening wounds and were treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney said. He did not know if the children remained hospitalized Sunday evening.

"I want to express our deepest sympathies for the victims and families in last night's tragedy," he said. "This is a significant issue when there is a shooting of three kids."

No one had been arrested Sunday afternoon. Denney said authorities had not yet developed a motive. He declined to name the other victims but said they all are cooperating with police. Police also did not provide any description of the suspects.

"We have interviewed those who were medically able," he said, adding that he could not confirm the loss of the fetus but had seen those reports.

A family member said Garrett is a cousin to the pregnant woman who lost her fetus after being shot in the thigh. That woman had been released from the hospital by Sunday morning.

Four other relatives, including three more children, attended the party but were not hurt.

Denney said police found a gun outside the home but it was not used in the shooting. Two handguns were used in the shooting and there was no return fire, he said. He did not know how many shots were fired.

Denney said eight of his officers worked overnight on the case. Cincinnati Police and federal authorities are assisting.

"We are just in the beginning stages of this," Denney said at a Sunday afternoon news conference. "There's a lot more questions I can't answer than I can."

One family member, who was shot at the party and asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation, said relatives are perplexed about a motive.

At least four people called 911 to report the 11:21 p.m. shooting. Some were partygoers and were hurt. At times, screaming and children crying drowned out one callers' voice.

"I think a baby's been shot. I think I got hit," one caller said. "There's a whole lot of people here shot.

"They just ran in and started shooting."

Another caller told police she was sitting outside in a car and saw a person in a blue hoodie sweatshirt and another in a green hoodie sweatshirt go into the home. Then, she heard gunfire and saw them run out of the home southwest toward Redskin Drive. The home is just east of Colerain Avenue.

Denney said he did not want to alarm residents in the working-class neighborhood, which is just southeast of the Colerain Avenue exit off of Interstate 275. But he said they should remain cautious, keep their doors locked and their lights on.

"This is a sad day for all of our community," City Administrator Dan Meloy said.

Many residents awoke to the news Sunday morning.

Neighbors, some still in robes or walking their dogs, milled about discussing the shooting and the changes the area has experienced in recent years. Several said drug dealing has become more pervasive.

Shawn Fee said he thought television crews were at his home to talk to him about recent storm damage. Instead, he learned of the mass shooting just down the block.

“There’s a lot of drugs in this neighborhood," Fee said. “Everything from prescription to heroin to weed.”

Another neighbor said he’s called police several times about drug deals he has witnessed.

That man, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said the shooting sounded like firecrackers. By the time he went outside, he saw multiple squad cars and at least three ambulances parked near his home.

A woman, who was at the party and told him her daughter was shot to death, was sitting on his driveway when he came out. "She was crying, crying, crying,'' he said. "It's one thing to come in and find a relative dead. It's another thing to watch it happen. I feel so bad for her."

He said he also saw paramedics attending to two school-aged children and a smaller child in the back of the ambulance. The children were all wearing pajamas and did not appear to be hurt, he said.

The shooting is the largest in the Tristate since the mass shooting at Cameo nightclub on Kellogg Avenue in Cincinnati. Seventeen people were shot and two died from the March 26 shooting. Last year, eight family members were shot and killed in their home in rural Pike County, about 90 miles from Cincinnati.

Denney asked that anyone with information call 513-321-COPS or Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040. Callers can remain anonymous.

"Somebody has information about this," he said. "When three kids get shot, someone has to step forward."

Cincinnati.com


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