Three men were arrested in the July 2017 shooting at an Ohio gender reveal party for a woman who was later found out to be lying about her pregnancy.
Roshawn Bishop, 28, James Echols, 23, and Michael Sanon, 21, were charged on 22 counts, including murder, aggravated assault, and animal cruelty, reported The Associated Press.
The gunfire broke out at a Colerain Township in southern Ohio, killing 22-year-old Autum Garrett, of Indiana.
Three children and a dog were shot. Police later determined the shooting was targeted and a drug-related incident after multiple witnesses were connected to drug rings, AP reported.
GENDER REVEAL PARTY SHOOTING: Three men were charged in a shooting that left one person dead and eight wounded at a gender reveal party for a woman who wasn't pregnant. https://abc7.ws/2ETwBUW
Officials said an investigation took nearly 18 months to produce arrests because detectives looked into a number of false leads. Uncooperative witnesses gave them false information that “hindered the investigation, no doubt,” said Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney.
“From the very beginning of this investigation, we met significant resistance that is uncommon from victims of crime wanting a resolution,” Denney was quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer as saying.
The party was being held for 21-year-old Cheyanne Willis, who said she suffered a miscarriage after being shot in the leg. Investigators learned she wasn’t actually pregnant.
Garrett, the slain woman, was Willis’s cousin. Her husband and two children were injured. Police did not say whether Garrett or her family had connections to any drug activity, saying it was likely a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Another 8-year-old boy was also wounded.
Morgan Bradley, 24, Elijah Clemons, 26, and Lori White, 51, were also shot.
The armed men entered a home where about a dozen people were staying to watch a movie. They entered through an unlocked door and opened fire before leaving the scene.
“There were a lot of things we initially believed that turned out not to be true,” said Denney, according to the Enquirer. “From the very beginning of this investigation, we met significant resistance that is uncommon from victims of crime wanting a resolution,” Denney said.
Willis was involved in an incident on Christmas Eve in 2015 near a shopping mall. She was beaten and her hair was cut off, and her attacker wrote something on her face. The video was posted on social media, the Enquirer reported.
3 arrested in gender reveal party shootings
Roshawn Bishop, 28
James Echols, 23
Michael Sanon, 21
All face charges for the murder of Autumn Garrett, 22, of Indiana, and the shooting of eight others July 9, 2017 on Capstan Drive in Colerain Township.https://t.co/8UDIaxdcQL
— CTA513 (@CTA513) December 27, 2018
A man and a woman were arrested, but a grand jury dropped the charges.
Clemons was convicted in the past on drug charges. He was accused of pointing a gun at a woman who was changing a baby’s diaper two months before he was shot in the home, but he was not indicted by a grand jury, the paper reported.
Violent Crime Down?
The FBI said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017 compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to last year, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September, releasing data from the previous year.
“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI said in its report.