COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Police say an unborn baby died after a pregnant teen was shot in the Linden area at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 23.
According to the Columbus Division of Police, officers were called to the area of Joyce Ave. and Denune Ave. on the report of a shooting.
When officers arrived on scene, they found a pregnant 15-year-old female suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The teen was taken Grant Medical Center in stable condition, but the unborn baby was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 15-year-old girl was approximately 35 weeks pregnant.
Deputy Chief Tim Becker spoke with media at the scene of the shooting at 1 p.m. on Monday.
“The hospital was able to maintain the fetus on life support for a little while so that the mother, after being treated for her injuries, could hold her unborn child for a moment,” Becker said.
Deputy Chief Becker said he always gives the names of victims because he wants their life to be remembered and their names to be known.
“In this case, this young man didn’t even have the opportunity to be given a name yet because he was killed just weeks before he would have been born naturally,” Becker said.
Becker added the unborn baby is one of several victims who have been killed unintentionally this summer. Becker added there has been a rise in violence in the city this year, especially in the last few months. Two homicides, including the death of the unborn baby, occurred in Columbus on Sunday while another on Monday brings the total number of homicides to 91 for 2020.
“We’re trending above recent years on numbers, but Linden this neighborhood we’re standing in has experienced 20 homicides this year. That’s 20 families that have lost their loved ones.”
“We’ve had a fair amount of cases where we believe unintended victims have been hit. We’ve also had a fair amount of what people refer to as drive-by shootings,” he said. “Part of the reason for that is it’s very difficult to shoot out of a moving vehicle. Even as officers we don’t train to do that. We try to avoid that at all costs because of the difficulty of doing that even if you’re a skilled marksmen.”
Police say the teen and a 31-year-old man were walking on Denune Avenue when shots were fired at both of them from a passing car. The man was not injured in the shooting.
“We believed they were targeted specifically but we don’t necessarily know if the female was targeted specifically,” Becker said.
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.
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin released the following statement Monday about the two deadly shootings on Sunday.
Last night an unborn child and a middle-aged man were killed by gun violence. I’m profoundly mournful and frustrated today. The pain families have been feeling this summer is incomprehensible. The COVID-19 recession, widespread stress weighing on our mental health, lack of trust in law enforcement, and prevalence of guns in America all play a causal role in the current spike in shootings we see across our country.
We must take back our community and demand that this violence stops. To anyone out there considering violence, enough is enough. Think of the impact on families, their pain, as well as your own family’s pain when they lose you to the streets or the criminal justice system. I do not claim to have all the answers, but we must do more. No child or parent should be lost to gun violence.Shannon Hardin, Columbus City Council President