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Police: Banks Shooting Started With Argument Between Two Killed

Bill Rinehart

Updated: 4 p.m.

Two people are dead and three are injured after a shooting at Smale Park along Mehring Way at The Banks, according to Cincinnati police. The shooting happened at 10:47 p.m. Sunday night, officials said.

At a Monday afternoon press conference, Chief Eliot Isaac said 16-year-old Milo Watson and 19-year-old Dexter Wright, Jr. had an ongoing argument and ended it by shooting and killing one another. Isaac says the guns were not recovered, but investigators were not immediately looking for any other suspects.

Three other people were wounded, including a 17-year-old girl who was shot in the back and was listed in critical condition. A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old were each shot in the arm.

Isaac says hundreds of people were in Smale Riverfront Park, and officers were trying to encourage them to leave ahead of the official park closing time when the shooting happened.

He says the incident is not something to take lightly, and is calling on community partners to help young people learn to settle disputes without violence. 

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters calls the situation "unacceptable." Deters tweeted Monday afternoon "society needs to discuss the true issues at the root of this behavior." He says people need to be held accountable for their actions and the community must say "enough is enough."

Mayor John Cranley released a statement earlier in the afternoon. He called it "tragic" and said the victims were in his prayers. "Our cops have been diligent about patrolling in parks that attract groups of teenagers—and will continue to do so—but this issue is much deeper and cannot alone be solved with crime fighting strategies."

Cranley said he asked the city manager and Chief Isaac to convene the Manager's Advisory group to "examine causes, evaluate resources and ultimately create a plan to address youth violence in our City."

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.