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Violent Memorial Day weekend in Columbus leaves 12 shot in multiple incidents

Columbus Police vehicles outside the division headquarters.
David Holm

Several neighborhoods in Columbus are recovering from a Memorial Day weekend riddled with gun violence.

Signs of the block party and subsequent shooting that injured seven people in the 4800 block of Pintail Creek Drive still linger Tuesday. Tire skid marks scar the parking lot where police say teens were doing donuts before shots rang out. The windows of a dark green SUV are covered in plastic bags after they were shattered by bullets.

Just after midnight on Monday, police responded to a block party there where at least five people were injured. Two of the three victims police identified in a press release were 19 years old and the third victim was 17. All of the victims are expected to survive their injuries.

Mayor Andrew Ginther told WOSU parents need to take a bigger role in supervising their children following the violent holiday weekend.

"I need parents to step up. Take responsibility for their kids. Know where their kids are, who they're hanging out with," Ginther said.

Ginther placed blame for gun violence on what he calls reckless and dangerous gun policies from the state government. He said the shootings underscore for him that the state government, controlled by Republicans, is leaving a lot of cities struggling to figure out how to address violence.

The state and city are locked in legal battles over a Columbus law banning civilians from having large capacity magazines that can hold 30 or more rounds, criminalizing the sale of guns to people prohibited from getting them, and requiring safe storage of guns.

The Republican-controlled Ohio Statehouse and Governor Mike DeWine havepassed several laws in recent years making it easier to obtain and own firearms, removing barriers to ownership that Democrats in control of Columbus are decrying in the wake of an increase in shootings across the city.

"It underscores that the proliferation of guns, this truly reckless and dangerous gun policy that the state has put in place, has left a lot of cities scrambling to deal with violence," Ginther said.

There have been 66 homicides in Columbus so far in 2023, many of which were a result of gun violence.

The city has tried cracking down on street racing and street takeover events, reckless driving and other illegal and nuisance activities officials say are connected with gun violence. The city stepped up enforcement of these laws in the Short North during weekends following successive violent weekends that left one person dead and 10 others injured in the popular district.

It is unclear if the city plans to deploy similar measures in any of the neighborhoods affected by gun violence this weekend.

Police responded to five other shootings over the holiday weekend. All the victims are expected to survive.

Police described the first incident on Saturday as a road rage shooting at the East 11th Avenue exit for I-71 after 3 p.m. Police say one man was shot and another person who was in the line of fire was injured.

Sunday evening, a 14-year-old boy was reported to have been shot in the arm in North Linden. The victim said he was walking on Ontario Street with two friends when a white vehicle drove by and fire multiple rounds at them.

Later Sunday night, police responded to the Linwood neighborhood at the 3600 block of East Livingston Drive where a woman was injured from multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to survive her injuries.

On Monday, police responded to a shooting at 4:59 a.m. where a 14-year-old girl was shot twice in her legs in the 800 block of Greenfield Drive in the South Franklinton area. Police said the victim believes that she was caught in the crossfire between two groups of men.

Police responded to another shooting Tuesday just after midnight in the 2300 block of Joyce Avenue in East Linden, where a woman was shot in her lower body and is expected to recover from her injuries.

Police have not identified any suspects or announced any arrests in these shootings as of Tuesday afternoon.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.