Mass shooting at Ohio cooling center as residents shelter from heatwave

Mass shooting at Ohio cooling center as residents shelter from heatwave
Witnesses say argument broke out in parking lot and shots were fired

One person was killed and at least two others were injured in a shooting outside a community center being used as a cooling facility in Columbus, Ohio, according to police.

Officials say that officers were called to Glenwood Community Center around 5pm on Wednesday when violence broke out.

Witnesses say shots were fired during an argument in a parking lot near the facility’s pool.

“Tragically, when arguments turn to violence, violence turns to using weapons, this is what you have,” Columbus assistant police chief LaShanna Potts said on Wednesday.

Two victims were found in the parking lot and a third was located by following a trail of blood.

The victims were taken to Grant Medical Center and Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where their condition remains unknown.

They have been identified as one male and two females, according to police. One of the women was the person killed, they added.

Their ages range from teens to young adults.

The Independent has contacted the Columbus Police Department for more details.

“I love you. I’m sorry you had to see this,” a bystander could be heard telling his child on a local newscast. “I thought this was supposed to be a summer of you having fun and instead this happens on the second day. I’m sorry, I couldn’t live with you.”

“Two days into summer camp and somebody’s getting killed, yeah that’s hurting my heart,” the father told ABC 6.

The community center is being used as a cooling centre, as many in the city are without power due to an ongoing heatwave. On Wednesday, the forecast hit 97 degrees, breaking a record from 1897.

“Officers have been at cooling centers, they’ve been at parks. We’ve had over 4,000 positive contacts in the parks. We’ll continue to do what we’re doing. We can’t be everywhere. Everywhere that we can be, with the resources that we have. We’re diligent in moving our resources around and we’ll go back to the table to see if we can do things differently but right now, we’re doing what we can,” Ms Potts added.

About 169,000 Columbus residents were without power as of Tuesday night, with electricity not expected to be restored until late Thursday, according to utilities.

The violence in Ohio follows some of the most deadly mass shootings in US history, after 10 people were killed in a white supremacist attack on a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, and 21 were slain in a mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Congress is considering a new package of gun control legislation following the tragedies which would increase school security, fund mental health services, and incentivise states to implement “red flag” laws that take guns away from those deemed a danger to the public or themselves.

The legislation could hit the floor of the Senate as early as this week.

“The agreement was something many believed was not possible just a few weeks ago, but Democrats and a good number of Republicans said we’d have to try,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told VOA on Tuesday.