Avondale families, strangers mourn two victims shot and killed

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - Dozens came together on Monday night to heal violent wounds.

Neighbors joined together to honor the memories of Frederick Mcclain, 23, and Antonio Ward, 33. Both men were shot to death last week. The organization Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence or CIRV organized the event. Dozens of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and strangers took back the streets in Avondale to mourn the loss of two men. The group was armed with signs and focused on a mission.

"He never did nothing wrong to anyone," said Antonio Martin, Ward's cousin. "He was just an outstanding guy. He took care of his family. He loved his family; loved his kids."

Just days ago, this neighborhood was a crime scene. Investigators say McClain was found near the Avondale Boys and Girls Club. He was shot several times in a car. The motor was still running. One day later, police say Ward was gunned down behind a barber shop on Baltimore Avenue. Ward leaves behind six children.

"Just to look at {these pictures of him} and see how much in a good spirit he was," said Martin. "That wasn't too long ago and now, to know that he's gone. So soon. It really hurts."

Nine years ago, Martin said he was shot in the head, just like his cousin. The only difference is Martin survived.

"There is no reason for things like this to happen in our neighborhoods," said CIRV organizer Peterson Mingo. "Unless it's just because we're just plain unconcerned. We need to come together as a people, as a neighborhood, and just stomp out all this lawlessness."

Some people like Kim Gibert said they came to share the pain. Gibert's son was murdered more than a year ago.

"It doesn't get any easier," Gibert said. "It's hard when every time you turn on the TV you hear about someone being murdered; Someone's life being taken."

Many people at Monday's vigil said the wound from the pain never heals, but there is a lesson that everyone can learn.

"If you know something and somebody's committed a crime here in the community -- say something," said LaMarque Ward, Ward's cousin. "Because when it happens to you, you're going to want someone to help you out also."

No arrests have been made in either shooting. If you have any information, you're urged to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-30-40.

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