Columbus police are continuing their investigation after a 24-year-old woman was fatally shot outside the Glenwood Community Center at Glenwood Park in the Hilltop neighborhood Wednesday night.
Two other people, an 18-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy, were injured in the shooting.
The shooting happened around 5:20 p.m. outside the community center, which is located at 1888 Fairmont Ave., south of West Broad Street, and was one of the designated cooling centers for residents of the city of Columbus. seeking relief from temperatures that hit the mid-90s on Wednesday.
The gunshots caused panic among those who had come to Glenwood Park for the chill-out centre, the town swimming pool or simply to enjoy the park.
Police found two of the victims in a parking lot, and officers following a blood trail found the third victim several blocks west of the park near Wrexham Avenue, Sgt. said Joe Albert.
Atayia Nichols, 24, who lived in the Hilltop neighborhood, was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. She died of her injuries at 5:54 p.m. Wednesday. The other female victim was also taken to Grant in critical condition. Police said doctors believed the victim would survive his injuries.
The male victim was taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in stable condition.
Deputy Chief LaShanna Potts said no suspects have been identified, but there may have been multiple shooters. Police said Thursday morning they believe there may have been a fight before the shooting.
“Everyone just started running”
Megan Sloane, who lives on East Broad Street on the East Side, told The Dispatch the power was out at her house, so she took her children to the Glenwood Park swimming pool to cool off. She and the children left briefly when the pool was to be temporarily closed to go get food with her family at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.
When they returned, she said someone was talking about another person waving a gun. She and the kids went into the pool and moments later they heard several gunshots.
“So everyone started running and we ran to the fence and lay down,” Sloane said. “And it was just madness everywhere and people were running for cover.”
Sloane said she and her children waited for the police to arrive, then she went to her car. When they arrived, a person who had been shot near her car was being lifted onto a stretcher, she said.
Police cordoned off the area near the community center as well as park roads with yellow tape.
Record of five shootings in Columbus parks this year: 4 dead, 4 injured
Bernita Reese, director of the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks, was seen in Glenwood Park on Wednesday afternoon after the shooting.
The shooting at Glenwood Park is the fifth at another city park since April 23, leaving a total of four dead and four injured so far.
April 23, 20 years Masonic Saunders was shot and killed in Saunders Park on the Near East side, and 19-year-old Damarion Dawson was killed at Nafzger Park on the southeast side.
On May 4, 19-year-old Jessey Osorio was killed and a 17-year-old man was injured after a shooting in a car park outside the Westgate Park Community Center.
May 14, an 8-year-old girl was injured after a shooting during a fight at Weinland Park.
Police were not on the scene when the Glenwood Park shooting happened, Albert said, but responded “within minutes”.
Special park patrols by police authorized by the Columbus City Council take place on weekends, not weekdays. Police officers were assigned to special duties at the cooling centres, although it was not immediately clear if there was an officer at the Glenwood community centre.
“We are wherever we can be with the resources we have,” Potts said, “but we are diligent about moving our resources and we will come back to the table to see if we can do things differently. But for now we do what we can.”
The FBI and Columbus police have offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the May 2021 mass shooting at Bicentennial Park at an unauthorized after-hours DJ gig at Downtown Park staged on social media. Olivia Kurtz, 16, was killed and five other teenagers were injured.
Expedition reporter Bethany Bruner contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Shooting at Glenwood Community Center: 1 dead, 2 injured in Columbus