Every young person's nightmare came true for partiers at the Cameo Nightclub in the East End neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, early Sunday morning. Over a dozen people were injured and one young man lost his life when shots rang out at the crowded venue, prompting hundreds of people to flee for their lives. Although many of the details about the incident still aren't known or available to the public, updates to the Cincinnati nightclub shooting indicate that this won't be an easy case to close.
Since the investigation began in the early hours of Sunday, city officials have provided several key updates to the case. Most importantly, police have not managed to track down the suspect or suspects responsible for the shooting. In fact, it's still uncertain as to whether there were one or two shooters involved. It seems that the perpetrator(s) escaped in the frantic moments following the shooting, and may prove extremely difficult to identify and apprehend.
However, the one victim who died during the attack has been identified as 27-year-old O'Bryan Raphael Spikes from the Winton Hills area of Cincinnati, who was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after the shooting began around 1:30 a.m. The Cincinnati Police Department has not released any more information about Spikes at this time, nor has any more information about the other victims been made available. However, the total number of victims was updated to 16, including Spikes.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley: "No evidence" last night's shooting was a terrorist attack, but victims were "terrorized by gun violence." pic.twitter.com/nENNpaJb18— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2017
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley reaffirmed at a press conference Sunday that investigators do not think that terrorism was a motive in the attack, but that the distinction only makes a marginal difference. "There's no evidence that this was a terrorist attack like we've seen in Miami and many other places. However, to the victims, what difference does that make? They've been terrorized by gun violence — innocent victims," Cranley said, slightly emotional. "People were just going to have a good time and ended up getting shot. That is totally unacceptable."
That lack of premeditation is what may make the suspect(s) so difficult to bring to justice. In cases of terrorism where the attacker was specifically trying to bring attention to a cause, they often die at the scene, and leave clues for investigators as to exactly why they did it. In this instance, the theory that the shooting started as a random confrontation between people in the club could make the perpetrators very difficult to find. Though it may not have been motivated by religious or racist extremism, this mass shooting raises its own unique concerns about gun safety in this country.