COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A 45-year old woman was found dead inside a home on the 2000 block of Jane Avenue, according to Columbus police.
Officers responded to the call of a shooting at 2:24 Sunday morning to find Tearicka L. Cradle suffering from a gunshot wound.
The city of Columbus has confirmed that Cradle worked for the Department of Building and Zoning Services.
According to a city spokesperson, Cradle started her career with Recreation and Parks, then moved to Civil Services before joining Building and Zoning.
“She had worked for the city for almost nine years. A very sad day,” the spokesperson said.
Cradle was the subject of a City Employee Spotlight posted on YouTube in May 2018.
It was her role as coordinator for the city’s Restoration Academy where her family said she touched many lives. The program, which is now called Edge, helps people who were involved with the justice system get jobs and turn their lives around.
In the YouTube video, Cradle shares she was once a candidate for the program and that is how she got her start with the city.
Travis Hilton was in the academy when Cradle was running the program. He said she inspired him because before becoming coordinator, she went through the program herself.
“She was a role model,” Hilton said. “She was pretty much the beacon of that program, in my opinion. It was just nice to see somebody from her background be able to still make it against everything and be successful.”
Cradle talked about how seeing people go through the program.
“I am a mother of two and I have a beautiful grandson,” she says in the video. “I race out of the office every day so I can go see him. I love to laugh, I love to be out and socializing with family and friends, and I love my job, I love what I do here at the city of Columbus.”
Stefphanie Galloway used to work for the city, which is when she got to know Cradle. Cradle also helped Galloway’s cousin through the academy.
“Her job title was coordinator, but she was a sister, she was a counselor, she was a mother figure, she was whatever those people needed,” Galloway said.
Many of Cradle’s friends, family, and co-workers all said she would do all she could to help someone else, saying she didn’t just change peoples’ lives, but also made Columbus a better place.
“Tika has impacted so many people,” Galloway said. “You can just look at an individual and say she’s got this person a job and she’s helped this person to sustain employment, but what she’s really done is improve the quality of life here in the city of Columbus.”
Medics arrived and pronounced Cradle dead at 2:34 a.m.
A witness told police that the suspects left the scene in a dark-colored SUV.
Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus Police at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).