After-School Events Cancelled After Two Woodward High School Students Shot Near Campus

CINCINNATI — After a shooting in the area of the school shortly after departure, two Woodward High School students were brought to the hospital.

Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were shot just before 4 o’clock in the afternoon close to the intersection of Reading Road and Seymour Avenue, according to Cincinnati Police Lt. Jonathan Cunningham. According to Cunningham, the incident occurred as Woodward High School students left for the day.

According to Cunningham, the incident occurred close to a school at a time of day that was particularly risky.

“School was dismissed just prior to this shooting so you know we have a lot of children out here on their way home leaving school which should be a fun time for them enjoying this beautiful day,” he said. “They should not have to fear that gunfire might be going over their head.”

After-School Events Cancelled After Two Woodward High School Students Shot Near Campus

Both of the teenagers, who are male students, were transferred to nearby hospitals and are doing well. Police activity caused the intersection to be closed. However, it is now open.

Cincinnati Public Schools released a statement saying that “what looks to be a drive-by shooter” had shot the youngsters at a bus stop close to the school.

Kim Smith claimed to have heard the gunfire from her home on Seymour Avenue, directly across the street.

“It’s really bad, and it’s really dangerous out here,” Smith said, “and it’s fitting to get hot so you already know that there’s about to be more shootings and more crime.”

Cunningham urged public members to report persons who shouldn’t have access to firearms before shooting and foresaw a rise in violent incidents during the upcoming summer months.

Pastor Ennis Tait, the founder of Ennis Tait Ministries, and other local community leaders said they were ready to respond to the call because they had been working to eliminate youth violence for over 15 years.

“We’re in a serious time when it comes to youth gun violence,” Tait said.

He claimed that he has observed trauma impacting young people in the neighborhood and that it has gone chiefly ignored from his community center, a place created to offer safety, positivism, and a family environment for boys and girls.

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“As a result, the only way they know how to resolve issues is what they’ve learned from other people or the streets or video games or whatever,” Tait said, “and that’s guns and extreme violence.”

Tait urged everyone in the tri-state region, including parents, religious leaders, public servants, and others, to treat juvenile mental health concerns locally before they worsen and turn violent.

In the interim, Woodward High has disclosed actions to increase student safety.

“All after school activities have been canceled,” the district said in the statement. “As a precaution, there will be additional security and counselors at Woodward Wednesday, April 5, 2023 to provide continued support for families.”

According to police, the maroon, four-door vehicle being driven by the shooting suspect is an older model. When more details are available, WCPO will update this story.

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