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Aunt of man killed in shooting at west Columbus gym demands for gun violence to stop

Tabias Cunningham, 23, died after being shot at the Esporta Fitness gym on Hilliard Rome Road.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tabias Cunningham just turned 23 years old on March 23. He was a brother, a son, a cousin, and on top of all that, a new father.  

“I just don’t understand,” said his aunt, Fretta Ward.

His aunt recalled some of her favorite memories she shared with him, and even some of the first they shared.

“The first thing that came to my mind is when I taught him how to say his birthday and he would say March 23,” she said.  

On Tuesday, Tabias was at the Esporta Fitness gym on Hilliard Rome Road. Columbus police officers were called there on a report of a shooting.  

Once police arrived, they found Tabias suffering from gunshot wounds.  

He was taken to a hospital where he died. Witnesses at the gym said the shooting happened on the basketball court.  

Police said the suspect ran and have not released any information at this time.

"For me to have to hear the call from my brother, my sister-in-law to hear the hurt in their hearts, that hurts me to my core,” said Ward.  

"The child should be burying their parent...nobody wants to bury their child,” she said.  

Ward is pleading that people put the guns down and stop these senseless killings.  

“All we've done so far is pray, the prayers of the righteous are going to prevail," she said.  

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