COLUMBUS, Ohio — Leaders and community members throughout Columbus are responding to a shooting Tuesday night that killed a man and two children, ages 6 and 9.
Columbus police responded to a report of shots fired near the Winchester Lakes apartment complex, where they found three people inside a parked vehicle with several bullet holes.
Emergency responders tried to provide aid but the three victims, later identified as 22-year-old Charles Wade, 9-year-old Demetrius Wall'neal and 6-year-old Londynn Wall'neal, were pronounced dead.
A spokesperson with Canal Winchester Schools confirmed both children were siblings and students in the district.
“We are shocked and heartbroken, please hold the family in your thoughts during this unimaginable time,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding counselors will be available in all school buildings to help support students and staff in need.
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin responded to word of the shooting on Wednesday morning, saying in part, “Whoever did this are cowards and need to be found, arrested, and held accountable. Nothing can bring these babies back. But we can still ensure these shooters never do something like this again.”
Columbus City Councilmember Rob Dorans also responded, saying, “No community can tolerate the murder of children,” and urging anyone with information to call police.
The Columbus Department of Public Safety called the incident a “devastating and completely senseless loss of life.”
According to police, the three victims were inside the vehicle when two armed suspects approached and began firing without any warning. Police said the suspects then got into a waiting vehicle driven by a third suspect and drove off.
“We will find these monsters who took it upon themselves to riddle a car not knowing who was inside and in the end killed two young babies,” Columbus Assistant Chief of Police LaShanna Potts said from the scene of the shooting Tuesday night.
Police also mentioned the culture of "no snitching" in the streets, but are asking people to say something if they know anything.
“That's not snitching. That's more so just trying to keep our community safe, they were starting that don't snitch stuff. Now to these young people all they've been hearing is don't snitch,” Dunbar said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Public Safety Director Robert Clark and Police Chief Elaine Bryant discussed the shooting during a press conference on Wednesday. You can watch that below: