COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Three people — two young children and a young man — are dead after what police later called a targeted shooting on the southeast side of Columbus Tuesday night.
According to Columbus police, officers responded to the 6600 block of Kodiak Drive at approximately 6:15 p.m.
Columbus Division of Police Assistant Chief LaShanna Potts said when officers arrived at the scene, they found a vehicle riddled with bullet holes and three victims inside.
Potts called the two young victims “babies” and the third victim a “young man,” during a news conference Tuesday night.
Police have now identified the victims as 9-year-old Demetrius Wall-Neal, 6-year-old Londynn Wall-Neal and 22-year-old Charles Wade.
Police say all three were in a vehicle parked in front the lot of an apartment complex, when two armed suspects approached and began firing into the vehicle without any apparent warning or provocation.
After the shooting, both suspects got into a waiting vehicle, where a third suspect drove them away.
“There’s a mother now that will have to go on in her life with two young babies that she no longer gets to raise,” Potts said. “They don’t get to get married. They don’t get to go to school.”
WATCH: Columbus Division of Police Assistant Chief LaShanna Potts full press briefing from the scene of the shooting
At the scene, officers attempted life-saving measures, but all three victims were pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m., police said.
“Whoever did this, they didn’t take the time to see who was inside the car,” she said. “This is reckless gun violence.”
As Potts spoke to the press at the scene, people could be heard grieving.
“This is unacceptable,” Potts said, calling on the public to help the police put an end to gun violence in the city. “I am p*****. I am p*****. I speak for the division, the officers who have to go to these runs day in and day out, it’s getting tiresome. We need the community to help us. This gun violence has got to stop.”
This is the 184th, 185th, and 186th homicides in Columbus for 2021.
“There’s nothing I can say to this family that’s going to bring them closure other than the fact that whoever you are, we will find out who you are and we will hunt you down until we get you,” Potts said.
The Canal Winchester Local Schools district confirmed the two children were students in the district and released the following statement:
Dear CW Families,
It is with a great deal of sadness that we inform our school community of an awful event. Tuesday evening two of our students died tragically, Demetrius Wall-Neal (Grade 4) and his sister Londynn Wall-Neal (Kindergarten). We are shocked and heartbroken, please hold the family in your thoughts during this unimaginable time. Counselors are available in all of the school buildings, to support students and staff and address anyone who may need assistance related to this event.
Please feel free to call your student’s building if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child. When we have more information to release we will do so. Thank you for your support of our students and staff as we work together through this tragedy.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to call the CPD Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.