A Cincinnati prosecutor pledged Monday to help police find and prosecute those responsible for a weekend wave of gun violence.
Cincinnati police said more than 20 people were shot, four fatally.
Joe Deters, the Republican prosecutor of Hamilton County, said he is “alarmed, shocked and saddened” about the multiple shootings. Deter pointed to the violence and the police response to the shooting to deter calls to “defund” police.
“While I believe that we should police smartly and efficiently and use all of our resources in the best way possible, ‘defunding’ the police is not the answer,” Deters said in a statement.
Mayor John Cranley said the city faced “unprecedented circumstances and challenges” in fighting crime during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities across the U.S. are struggling with a spike in violent crime, with shootings and murders are significantly up, NPR reported. In Cincinnati, Fox 19 reported homicides are up 115%. Cranley said guns are “far too prevalent” at private gatherings after bars close early under pandemic restrictions.
Police reported three unrelated shootings in Cincinnati on Sunday. None of the victims had life-threatening wounds. Four shootings, including a mass shooting with 10 victims occurred early Sunday.
No information on any of the suspects involved in these shootings has been released at this time.
Police said the department would be calling on federal prosecutors and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for help.
Cincinnati Police Chief Elliot Isaac said of the weekend violence that this amount of gun violence and the damage this has inflicted on our neighborhoods is unacceptable,” WLWT reported .
Isaac went on to say,”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.”
– – –
Dan Sewell is a reporter for The Associated Press. Ben Kolodny contributed to this report.
Photo “Police Tape” by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 4.0.