A shooter – reportedly dressed in business casual clothes and carrying a briefcase – killed three people and injured two others in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at a bank that is located at what is known as the 5/3 building.
Cincinnati police revealed that five victims were injured in all and three are deceased. The suspect is also dead. In a press conference, authorities called it a “horrific situation.” The mayor praised the “heroism” of the police and firefighters. “Apparently there were shots below, and then he moved up to the lobby. He was actively shooting innocent victims,” the mayor added. “It could have been much, much worse” without the quick law enforcement intervention, he said. The mayor said his dad used to work in the building. “It could have been any one of us,” he said.
“@CincyPD UPDATE: active shooter/officer involved shooting incident at Fifth Third Bank at 511 Walnut Street in lobby and loading dock. Call received at 9:10am. Five victims injured, three dead. Suspect is dead. Three or four officers responded and engaged the shooter,” police wrote in an update on Twitter.
No officers were injured. “Everything transpired in the loading dock area and the lobby of the building,” said the police chief, adding that it’s not clear yet whether the victims were targeted. He said that the officers responded quickly and engaged with the suspect, but tragedies still unfolded. Authorities said “there was an exchange of gunfire” but it wasn’t clear whether the suspect shot himself or police shot him. One of the victims was found deceased at the scene.
The news of the possible mass shooting/active shooter broke out on social media.
The Cincinnati police first wrote “@CincyPD investigating active shooter/officer involved shooting incident at Fifth Third Bank at 511 Walnut Street in lobby and loading dock. More details to follow. Media staging area will be forthcoming. Ft. Square and surrounding area will be closed to foot traffic.” No police officers were among the injured, Cincinnati.com reported. They urged people to remain in lockdown and were still clearing the scene.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Witness Reported Seeing a Man Walking Around & Shooting
Reporter Max Londberg described the harrowing scene on Twitter. “Witness to Cincinnati active shooting: Witness was sitting in Fountain Square when teens outside Fifth Third Bank yelled that there was a shooter. He thought it was a joke. Then he saw a man in white shirt and brown pants holding a gun and heard ’rounds of gunfire,'” he wrote.
Londberg quoted the witness as saying, “I saw a guy in a white shirt walking around and shooting like this” (the witness held up his right arm straight in front of him) ‘bing bing bing bing,'” and then added, “He ran. He said he’s a visitor from Germany. Visibly distraught. Did not wish to give his name. The bank is at 38 fountain sq.”
Journalist Nick Swartsell wrote, “Witness Leonard Cain: two shot, including a woman who was heading into the bank and a man, Cain’s boss, who works for Gilbane Construction. Cain says at least 15 shots fired.”
“She walked in the door and he shot her,” Cain told Cincinnati.com.
Michael Richardson told Cincinnati.com that he saw the man shooting in the lobby, saying, “I looked behind me and saw the guy – he shot and then he shot again. After that I started running. I went around to the north side of the building and sat down.”
Authorities said in the press conference that they are planning to review security video footage.
700WLW, a radio station, reported that the shooting reports emanated from a bank. “Avoid area of fountain square in downtown Cincinnati. Police responding to 5th/3rd bank building for possible shooting,” the station reported on Twitter.
Writer Anne Saker reported on Twitter that bystanders said they heard 12 shots, and police were bringing a Metro bus to the scene to take witnesses away from it.
According to Cincinnati.com, civilians were hiding inside the bank where the shooting occurred and other victims were found in different locations. For example, the newspaper reports that one victim was found in a local ice cream shop and another was discovered at 5th and Walnut. Victims were reported in the area of 511 Walnut Street.
Reporter Griffin Frank wrote, “My friends inside the 5/3 building are being told to ‘stay where they are’ after @CincyPD reports an active shooter. @wcpo.”
The Motive Is Not Yet Clear
Bill Rinehart, a reporter, wrote on Twitter, “Report of active shooter. 5/3rd Building on Walnut, downtown Cincinnati. Police reports indicate multiple victims.”
Reporter Stephanie Walsh reported that at least three people were injured, and the suspect engaged in a gun battle with police.
It’s not yet clear whether there was a robbery or some other motive for the possible shooting. The number of potential victims has not yet been confirmed, and it’s not clear what the name of the suspect is at this point.
P.G. Sittenfeld, a city council member, tweeted earlier that some victims are dead. “Terrible shooting incident in the heart of our city this morning. Multiple shot, and tragically there are fatalities. Details still emerging. Pray for our city,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sittenfeld also revealed, “Update (but still fluid): 5 shot, including shooter, who now being told is in critical but not deceased. Police & Fire doing exemplary job.” Fox19 reported that four people had been taken to a local hospital.
There were conflicting reports about the shooter’s condition early on. Chris Seelbach, another councilman, wrote, “Update: 2 people dead, one is shooter. Several people in critical condition. Number of victims may increase from 5.”
There was a large law enforcement response to the scene.
This post will be updated as more information is learned about the possible Cincinnati active shooter.