Police: Mass shooting at Ohio gender reveal party was targeted, related to drug rings

The story of a mass shooting at a gender-reveal party for a fake pregnancy only gets stranger.

On Tuesday, Colerain Township Police announced that witnesses to the July shooting that killed a 22-year-old woman and injured nine others have connections to three different drug rings.

"Investigators keep running into the same people in every lead, and finding drug trafficking," Police Chief Mark Denney told The Enquirer. "But there are no specific details that we can put out at this time."

The July 8 shooting on Capstan Drive was initially described to police as taking place at a gender reveal party for the fetus of Cheyanne Willis, 21. Police reports said two gunmen walked into the home and fired 14 rounds.

The shooting killed Autum Garrett, 22, and wounded her husband and her two young children. The shooting also left another five people — including a third child — and a dog injured, police reports said.

Willis initially told family members and the media that she lost her fetus after she was shot in the leg during the incident. A week after the shooting, police announced that Willis was not pregnant.

In a statement Jim Love, spokesman for the Colerain Township Police Department, said police have met "significant resistance from several of the victims and witnesses."

Since the beginning of the investigation, police said witnesses have purposefully left out key information and fabricated stories. Despite the difficulty, investigators said they have found multiple connections between those at the party and three different drug circles, which are now being investigated.

And it's hampering the investigation.

"The harm that this has caused the investigation cannot be over-stated," Love said.

As the investigation continues, police said they expect multiple arrests involving the shooting and associated investigations.

"Investigators are sifting through tens of thousands of text messages, emails, and other evidence," Love said. "This tedious task requires a great deal of time. In no way has this investigation hit a dead-end or gone 'cold'. New information is learned daily and interviews continue on a daily basis."

Love said the police department cannot release other information related to the investigation at this point.

"We felt it was important to inform the community that we are still hard at work and making progress," Love said. "We do not believe there is any danger to the community stemming from this incident and all information points to the fact that this was a planned, targeted incident that was in no way random."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040 or the Colerain Police 24-hour tip line at 513-470-7165.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment