COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther discussed Tuesday evening’s triple homicide that left two children and one young man dead during a press conference Wednesday.
Ginther was joined by public safety director Robert Clark and police chief Elaine Bryant where he discussed the Tuesday night shooting on Kodiak Drive in southeast Columbus.
Police identified the victims as 9-year-old Demetrius Wall-Neal, 6-year-old Londynn Wall-Neal, and 22-year-old Charles Wade.
“It can never be normal for six and nine-year-olds to die in our community,” Ginther said. The Columbus mayor added that the community is fighting for the soul of the city.
“The violence we are seeing in this city and in cities around the country, we’ve never seen the likes of this before,” he said.
Columbus police chief Elaine Bryant and other officials said the homicide was a targeted act of violence and not a random act. Detective Terry Kelley added they are looking for at least two suspects.
“Demetrius and Londynn may not have been ours biologically or legally, but they are our kids and this community has lost because of their deaths,” Ginther said. “Tragic violence.”
Below, watch the full press conference with Columbus Mayor Ginther, Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant, and other city officials.
Bryant joined Ginther in calling on the community to report any information they may have on the crime.
“This was not a random act of violence; this was a targeted act of violence,” Bryant said. “This should have never have happened. A mother should be preparing to wrap Christmas presents for her child but instead, she has to figure out how she’s going to bury her children.”
She says someone knows something about what happened last night.
Bryant wants the people who are committing these crimes to come forward for the sake of the community.
“It’s not snitching, it’s about respecting your community and having compassion for the families that are going through what they’re going through and speaking up and allowing us to give them some justice,” she said.
Columbus Police have received tips since Tuesday night and are combing through camera footage and the evidence from the shooting to piece things together.
Leaders said any piece of evidence could help and the community needs to be the voice for the victims.
“What have we lost and what are we willing to fight for?” Ginther said. “We cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized, numb, it can never be normal for 6 and 9-year-olds to die in this community.”
“Two babies were killed last night,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin in a statement. “Whoever did this are cowards and need to be found, arrested, and held accountable. Someone has information about this murder – I’m asking you to look yourself in the mirror and ask if you’re okay with this! You need to come forward now.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call the CPD Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477, or Det. Terry Kelley at 614-778-9706.