National News

Ohio party shooting victim was not pregnant, police say

Posted July 18

After a woman was shot dead during a party in an Ohio home earlier this month, witnesses told police that the gathering had been a gender-reveal party. Police now say they've learned that the guest of honor -- a 21-year-old woman, who was expected to announce the gender of her unborn child -- was not pregnant.

Authorities said they were led to believe the woman lost the baby immediately after the shooting -- but that also turned out to be false, Colerain Township police spokesman Jim Love told CNN.

Police in the suburban Cincinnati community say they were misled and wasted days chasing bogus leads in what is now a stalled investigation.

"Hours and days have been wasted following leads known to be lies when they were provided to our officers," Colerain Police said in a release on Monday. The release did not elaborate further on how they were misled, or how it has affected the investigation. The department did not respond to multiple requests from CNN for further comment.

"Detectives canceled their vacations to work on this case," Love said. "They gave it 110%."

CNN has reached out to the woman accused of misleading police, as well as her family, but has not received a response.

Police are appealing to the public, hoping to encourage reluctant victims and others to come forward to help find the gunmen who allegedly opened fire at the July 8 gathering.

They arrived to find nine people shot inside the home, according to a police report of the shooting.

Victims were "lying on the floor and on the couch in the front living room of the home," an officer wrote in the report. "A female victim was seated on the couch and appeared to be deceased."

The officer confirmed that the two suspects, who used handguns had gotten away, the report said.

Panicked phone calls

In 911 calls from the incident obtained by CNN affiliate WCPO, witnesses sounded panicked and confused. People screamed in the background.

"There's a whole lot of people here are shot," one man told the operator.

"I just seen two people walk by, I looked outside, next thing I know they just ran in and just start shooting," the man says. He tells the operator he thinks he has been shot in the stomach and that he's bleeding.

Another woman, who called 911 from outside the house, said: "There is little kids hurt and everything ... There's a pregnant girl here ... oh my God."

Officers were dispatched to the call of shots fired around 11:21 p.m., police said.

At the time, a family member told CNN affiliate WLWT that a pregnant woman was shot in the leg and lost her baby. The woman was treated and released from the hospital, the station reported. Police Chief Mark Denney told reporters at the time that he could not confirm that detail.

The woman was indeed shot in the leg, Love said. Eight people in all were wounded in the shooting, including three children, police said.

Police to meet with prosecutor

Police had identified the fatal victim as Autum Garrett, 22, whom authorities believe is from Huntington, Indiana. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Monday's statement said police will discuss with prosecutors "how to proceed with some of our information."

Julie Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney's office, said she was not sure what information Colerain has released. She said she had no information to share.

The FBI is involved in the investigation to lend support, Love said.


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