COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One person is dead and at least two others injured after a shooting near a Columbus community center Wednesday afternoon.
Columbus police say that at about 5:46 p.m., officers responded to the Glenwood Community Center on the 1800 block of Fairmont Avenue on the report of a shooting.
One woman, now identified as 24-year-old Atayia Nichols, was pronounced dead at Grant Medical Center at 5:54 p.m. The other victims, an 18-year-old female and a 15-year-old male, were in critical condition when transported to local hospitals, but they are expected to survive their injuries, according to police.
Witnesses told police there appeared to be a fight before the shooting.
Columbus Police Assistant Chief Lashanna Potts said officers found two victims in a parking lot and, following a blood trail, discovered the third victim nearby. All victims were found outside of the community center.
The community center is one of many across the city being used as a cooling center during the current heat wave.
Below: Columbus Police Assistant Chief Lashanna Potts updates shooting incident.
“It’s 90 degrees, so all of the cooling centers were filled to capacity,” Potts said. “As I said unfortunately when you have people who handle problems with weapons, we’re going to see this. If you do have weapons, you have to be a responsible gun owner.”
Potts said the cooling centers are safe and that residents should not be afraid to take advantage of them.
“We want the community to come out, but we want you to leave your guns at home,” she said. “It’s simple.”
Police are interviewing “quite a few” witnesses, both children and adults.
Police have not issued any suspect information, and do not know at this point if any of the victims fired shots.
Potts added police do not know at this point if there were multiple shooters involved.
This is the seventh shooting at a Columbus community center or park since April of this year:
- April 5, Barnett Community Center, 19-year-old man shot
- April 20, Feddersen Community Center, 19-year-old man, 20-year-old man shot
- April 23, Nafzger Park, 19-year-old man killed
- April 23, Saunders Park, 20-year-old woman killed, second woman shot
- May 4, Westgate Park, 19-year-old man killed, 17-year-old boy shot
- May 14, Weinland Park, 8-year-old girl shot
Malissa Thomas St. Clair, with Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, was at the center, trying to console a family whose loved one was just killed.
“We’re supporting a sister we’ve already had to support,” St. Clair said. “This is her second child she has lost. When you become a double murder victim, there’s no words even from mothers who have lost their child. It’s tragic.”
“It frustrates me more than I can put into words,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, who was also at Glenwood following the shooting. “It is hot. People are tired, but there is no excuse for this type of violence around our young people. We, as a community, can’t stand for it. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and really decide is this who we are? I do not believe it is.”
Glenwood will be open as a cooling center and for all scheduled camps on Thursday, but the pool will be closed for the day. There will also be crisis counselors on site for those who need them.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call the Columbus Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.