COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus residents expressed their shock over another shooting in west Columbus — this time in a very public space.
The shooting happened Tuesday night at the Esporta Fitness Gym off of Hilliard Rome Road.
Tabias Cunningham, 23, was found at the scene suffering from gunshot wounds, according to the Columbus Division of Police. He was taken to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where he later died.
Police said they are still looking for the suspect who reportedly left the scene in a small white vehicle.
Columbus resident Kyle Hall plays basketball at Esporta's basketball courts, but after last night’s fatal shooting on the court, he said he won’t be heading there anytime soon.
"It's getting closer and closer to our houses and getting a little bit out of hand,” said Hall. “People who are really willing to kill each other over a basketball game. I want no part of it."
In total, there have been 37 homicides this year in the city of Columbus, compared to 28 this time last year.
“Certainly we've seen an uptick in just the number of people with guns, so disputes that might have resulted in a fistfight are now being resolved with guns,” said Columbus Police Deputy Chief Tim Meyers.
Meyers said he believes there needs to be a two-part solution to tackle crime in the city.
"We have to do our job and make it more costly to carry guns illegally, and then people need to do a better job of resolving their disputes without violence,” said Meyers."Most of our shootings take place in public places."
Arianna Gallagher, a trauma specialist at The Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, told 10TV that it's important to protect mental health when processing this trauma.
Gallagher said she’s seeing more trauma patients struggling with recent events.
“I think there are some folks that are struggling with: 'I don't feel safe anywhere,'” said Gallagher.
She provided tips on how to take care of mental health during these traumatic times including limiting catastrophic thinking, assessing your safety in common public spaces, having conversations with the owners on what measures are being taken and focusing on one thing you can do to make a difference.
“Knowing yourself, knowing what helps you to recenter yourself, and knowing that you're a human first," said Gallagher. "...You may not be functioning at peak performance when you've witnessed or been a part of an event like this."