‘He kept shooting.’ Eyewitnesses recount Cincinnati shooting mayhem

Local News

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) – What should have been a normal Thursday morning at work, interrupted by gunfire.

Three people are dead after a gunman opened fire right in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, at the Fifth Third Center building next to Fountain Square.

Ebony Ginyard works at the Dunkin’ Donuts, inside the building’s lobby. She said she and saw it all happen.

“He started shooting the glass doors and we saw the glass in the air. Then, next thing you know – we started smelling the gunpowder from where we were,” Ginyard said. “I heard a good 10, 12 shots.”

She said she, co-workers, and customers hid under the counter.

She said everyone was in a panic – huddled together as several rounds of gunfire sounded in the air.

“And all he had to do was look over the counter and we would have been shot,” Ginyard said.

“He kept shooting and kept shooting. Then after that he emptied the gun, he sat and reloaded. We saw a customer picking up his drink – told him: They’re shooting and to come in there with us. Next thing you know, he started shooting again.”

The SWAT team, Cincinnati police, and Columbus ATF responded, blocking off the busy streets surrounding the building where the gunman had opened fire.

John Darnell, a construction worker who was nearby, said he also heard shots and saw people running away in terror.

“There were men in business suits actually diving on the ground. It was crazy,” Darnell said, adding that he heard several gun shots. “There was a lot of them too. I don’t know. Like 16, 18 shots.”

When it was all over: three people, dead, and several others, injured.

The shooter, identified by police as 29-year-old Omar Perez, also dead – shot and killed by police.

Witnesses now left to come to grips with what they just lived through. 

“Shocked, scared,” Ginyard said. “I had an asthma attack in the midst of it.”

Cincinnati councilman Jeff Pastor said he rushed to the scene as soon as he got word about what was happening.

“As we were getting the reports, the fatalities began to climb,” Pastor said. “First it was one dead, then it was three dead, and I think there are two that are still critically injured.”

Pastor dubbed the incident “extremely shocking to the conscious”, adding: “My heart goes out to the family members. I couldn’t imagine something like this taking place.”

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