Cincinnati officials are expressing outrage at a drive-by shooting that sent more than a score of bullets into a crowd of children, killing an 11-year-old boy and striking four other children and an adult. The victims were near an intersection Friday night when an occupant of a dark sedan fired 22 rounds in quick succession, said Police Chief Terri Theetge. Hit were boys aged 11, 12, 13, and 15; and a 15-year-old girl; and a 53-year-old woman, reports USA Today. Two of the children attended Cincinnati Preparatory Academy, including the boy who was killed. Mayor Aftab Pureval, who called the shooting "sickening and unimaginable," said the kids were playing outside when the shots rang out on the city’s West End, a short walk from a daycare, a girls' dance studio, and a playground.
"Twenty-two rounds were fired," Pureval said. "Twenty-two rounds in a moment — into a crowd of kids. No time to respond. No time to react." The shooting is the latest incident in a wave of gun violence around the U.S. As of late Sunday, there have been 596 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. More than 1,200 teens (ages 12-17) have been killed and 3,400 injured in 2023. More than 250 children (ages 11 and younger) were killed and nearly 570 injured. In Cincinnati, City Manager Sheryl Long said, "This is not an act of God; this is not a natural disaster. The devastation, the harm and the loss of life are a shock to us all, but they stem from actions of real people and they (are) enabled by access to guns ... “Violence like this cannot be our status quo.” Police intend to expand the presence of uniformed and non-uniformed officers in the West End in addition to the use of cameras, Chief Theetge said.