Teen victims in Cleveland shooting were attending party, investigators say

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland Police are trying to identify gunmen who opened fire on a group of teenagers early Wednesday morning, leaving three of them wounded.  

A security camera was rolling outside an apartment building in the city’s Midtown neighborhood just before 1 a.m. On the surveillance video, 19 shots are heard being fired in less than 30 seconds.

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene after witnesses reported three teens had been hit by the gunfire in the 2800 block of Euclid Avenue.

Investigators say the victims had been attending a party inside an apartment building prior to the shooting, and they were standing outside when the gunmen opened fire.

Authorities say a 14-year-old girl was hit twice and was in serious condition. She was taken by life squad to MetroHealth Medical Center.

A 16-year-old boy was shot twice in the back and was in critical condition when he arrived at the emergency room at Metro. A 17-year-old boy, also in critical condition, was hit several times.

Nineteen-year-old Omarion Brown and his girlfriend heard the gunfire from their apartment near Cleveland State’s campus.

“As much as we try to stray away from the violence and all that, you still have people out here who don’t care or will do anything, anywhere, anytime, no matter who is around,” Brown said.

Brown says the nature of Wednesday’s shooting is why he’s reluctant to go outside during certain times of the day.

“They’re hitting everything and everybody else but who they want to hit because when tensions are high and aggression is high, it’s like you’re not really aiming because you’re so scared. They’re scared too,” Brown said. “They’re scared for their lives. They’re just doing what they’re taught to do. It’s a generational thing. Everybody teaches, ‘oh yeah, you need to get a gun to protect yourself.’”

When asked what needs to change to prevent the kind of violence that erupted on Euclid Avenue, Omarion Brown was not optimistic.

“Everybody had been thinking about that for years. I don’t think it’s going to stop. I mean, I feel like it’s the natural order of things, but it’s still bad. Something needs to be done about it,” he said.

The names of the three victims have not been released and no information is being released about their current conditions.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Ward 5 Councilwoman Delores Gray issued a statement about the shooting that reads:

“First, I want to offer my condolences to the families and friends of those injured in yet another gun-related incident in Cleveland, this time on Euclid Avenue in my ward. This doesn’t represent the majority of the residents of the ward or the majority of residents in Cleveland. Too often a misunderstanding and fights turn into mindless violence.”

The statement went on to say,” I and others citizens are exhausted and dismayed by the gun violence in the city. I know we are not alone, that gun violence is up across the country. I want all of us to find a way to take one action, one step, no matter how small, that can help stop the needless bloodshed. I am confident that the Cleveland Police will investigate this thoroughly and find the perpetrators as well as the motive behind these shootings.”

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