SPRINGFIELD — Multiple shooters are believed to be responsible for injuring six people in a mass shooting at a gathering in Springfield, but all victims suffered non-life threatening injuries and are expected to survive, Springfield city leaders said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking during the news conference were Police Chief Lee Graf, City Manager Bryan Heck, and Mayor Warren Copeland.
Graf said police were called to the building at 1935 South Yellow Springs Street just before 1:50 a.m. after police received multiple 911 calls that a shooting happened. Graf said officers arrived on scene within a minute of the first calls and began giving first aid to victims and started their investigation.
One of the victims was shot in the chest and was flown to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment, however the victim’s injuries are believed to be non-life threatening. Five other victims all were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center with injuries also deemed as non-life threatening.
Four of the victims shot are men and two are women, according to the Springfield Police incident report. the victims range in age from 20 to 25 years old and all are listed as residents of Springfield.
Despite the quick response from police, the suspected shooters had already fled the scene by the time police arrived, Graf said.
Graf would not confirm any suspects were in custody and would not say if police have identified any potential persons of interest. Graf’s statement contradicts what Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier today, where the governor said two people were in police custody.
Graf said he had not spoken to the governor’s office about the incident and directed further questions to the governor’s office.
The preliminary investigation suggests there were multiple shooters but how many, and how many shots were fired, was not released.
The building had been rented out by a group for a gathering, but Graf declined to elaborate about the gathering. Heck said in the beginning of the press conference the incident started with an event organized in honor of someone lost to violence.
“An event last night in our community that was meant to honor the life of someone taken from violence, turned into violence itself,” Heck said. “One act of violence, specifically with the use of guns, is too many.”
Previously, Springfield police investigators said the shooting took place at a celebration of life gathering at the building for someone who died several years ago. While the celebration of life was happening, a person entered the building and began firing gunshots at people, investigators previously told News Center 7.
Graf said as new details related to any potential suspects are gathered, including if any persons of interest that have been identified, will be released to the public at a later time.
After the shooting victims were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, several family members and a large crowd had gathered, prompting the hospital to be locked-down. Several other officers from other agencies including the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to help units at the hospital.
Graf said the response to the hospital was handled as well as possible.
Police are asking for any witnesses that have not yet spoke to police, or anyone with information about the shooting, to contact Springfield police at 937-324-7610 and ask to speak with detectives.
Graff added the preliminary investigation does not indicate the incident was a hate crime, as defined by federal law and state legislation, and does not appear to be related to gangs or organized crime.
Graf said police across the country are gearing up for what could be a violent summer with multiple instances of gun violence. Graf added typically there is a small number of people who are involved or responsible for gun violence and Springfield police will work to secure convictions and bring people to justice who are causing the violence.
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