Four are dead including the shooter and several injured in what dispatch called an “active shooter” situation in Downtown Cincinnati at the Fountain Square Fifth Third location.
The scene was announced as secure at about 9:15 a.m., but there were multiple victims in the area of 511 Walnut Street.
One victim was located at 5th and Walnut streets, according to police. Another victim was located inside the nearby Graeter’s ice cream shop.
Three men and one woman were transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, hospital officials said. Two have died at the hospital, one is in critical condition and one is in serious condition. Each suffered gunshot wounds, officials said.
“Our physicians and staff are focused on caring for the patients and their families. We prepare for situations like these and hope they never happen,” Amanda Nageleisen, UC Health spokeswoman, said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all involved.”
Radio traffic indicated other victims may have been transported to Good Samaritan Hospital.
Capt. Jeff Butler said no more victims will be brought to the UCMC emergency room.
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the shooting took place in the loading dock and lobby of Fifth Third tower. Isaac said three or four police officers engaged the shooter, ending the threat.
“There’s something deeply sick at work here and we as a country need to work on it,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said during a news conference.
Leonard Cain was going back inside the bank when someone alerted him of the shooting. He said a woman was also walking into the bank and people tried to get her attention but she had headphones on.
“She walked in the door and he shot her,” Cain told The Enquirer.
Cain said he heard up to 15 shots fired.
Other witnesses said saw at least two people on stretchers being loaded into ambulances on 5th Street in front of Greater’s.
Zach Fritzhand, who works on the second floor of the Westin hotel building, said the people he saw on the stretchers were not moving.
“There was definitely a lot of blood involved,” he said.
Michael Richardson, who works in the Fifth Third Bank building, was just outside the main doors on Fountain Square, smoking a cigarette when he heard gunshots.
He saw a man firing a gun inside the bank lobby.
“I looked behind me and saw the guy – he shot and then he shot again. After that I started running. I went around to the north side of the building and sat down.”
Richardson, who works for Priority Installation, saw a police officer dragging a woman out of the bank lobby.
He said she was talking, but she was also bleeding, and “her shirt was red.”
No officers were injured, according to radio traffic and city officials.
The Cincinnati office of the FBI sent agents to the scene to assist Cincinnati police Thursday morning.
“Fountain Square and the surrounding area will be closed to foot traffic,” police said.
A reporter at the scene said two ambulances had already left the scene as of 9:30 a.m.
The incident at Fifth Third, with five apparent victims, makes it the 15th mass shooting (defined as having at least four victims) in the Cincinnati area since 2013.
The deadliest mass shooting locally of the past five years happened early on the morning of March 26, 2017, when two people were killed and 15 shot at the former Cameo nightclub in the East End.
Earlier this year, four people were shot on May 25 on Ross Avenue in East Price Hill after a dispute in a dice game.
With today’s victims, 90 people have been injured locally in mass shootings since 2013 with 11 fatalities and 79 wounded, according to an Enquirer analysis of data kept by Gunviolencearchive.org.
There were four active shooter incidents in Ohio in 2016 and 2017, when there were 50 nationwide.
Two of Ohio’s active shooter incidents were local. They were:
- Dec. 20, 2017 – Isaiah Currie, 20, armed with two handguns, began shooting in the lobby of the psychiatric emergency services wing of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Corryville. The shooter struggled with and shot an unarmed security guard and fired several shots at a responding off-duty law enforcement officer working security nearby. No one was killed; one was wounded (an unarmed security guard). Currie committed suicide as additional law enforcement arrived.
- Feb. 29, 2016 – James “Austin” Hancock, 14, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting in the cafeteria of Madison Junior/Senior High School in Madison Township, Butler County. He shot two students before fleeing the building. No one was killed; four students were wounded (two from shrapnel). The shooter was apprehended near the school by law enforcement officers.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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