COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Police have arrested a 16-year-old girl accused of fatally shooting another girl, 17-year-old Jayce O’Neal.
Neighbors are describing the moments leading up to and after the fatal shooting.
Al Bretz said he was outside of his home on Ridgebury Drive Monday night when he saw Jayce O’Neal pull up in a car.
“She gets out, left her car door open, and started kicking the other girl’s car, putting dents in the doors,” Bretz said.
The “other girl” Bretz is referring to is the 16-year-old girl arrested for allegedly shooting O’Neal. NBC 4 is not naming the suspect because she is a minor.
Bretz said the suspect is his neighbor.
“She came out of the house, the other girl, and they started to fight,” he said. “Went to the ground and started beating each other and that sort of thing. We were just standing there, me and the other neighbors, in awe, like, what’s going on, wondering why is this happening.
“Young boy, probably a friend of theirs, he tried to break them up, tried to pull them apart and that’s when the girl went in the house, got a gun, came out, and shot the other teen,” Bretz said about what he saw.
According to Columbus Police, the suspect then fled the scene.
Bretz said when the shots were fired, he and the other onlookers took cover in shock and fear.
“I was surprised that she had a gun and I was very shocked that she actually used it on this girl,” he said. “No one tried to stop her because we didn’t know her condition, her mental condition, if she would maybe try to run somebody over or shoot somebody or what.”
Bretz said a neighbor who works as an EMT rendered first aid to O’Neal while others called 911 and tried to help, moments of horror that Bretz said he will never forget.
“This is the first time I’ve seen or heard anything like this ever,” he said. “It’s pretty tragic. Just to stand there and see a 17-year-old girl bleed to death from gunshot wounds is something I don’t wish on anybody to see or witness. I didn’t think I’d ever see anything like that in my life…but I did. I can’t imagine being a parent and getting a phone call that ‘your daughter’s been shot.’ That would just probably do me in.”
Bretz wonders what the fatal fight between the two teens was about and if something could have prevented it.
“It’s sad because the children are innocent and they’re dying,” he said. “It shouldn’t be that way. How do we stop this? How do we put an end to it? All kinds of suggestions, but nothing so far has worked. How do you get the guns out of the hands of these teens? Do you blame the parents? Do you blame the people the teens hang with? Who’s to blame?”