Police investigate running gun battle in Winton Hills

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

WINTON HILLS, OH (FOX19) - Shots rang out in the late morning hours Friday in Winton Terrace. Two men were injured. Cars and homes were damaged.

Those bullets narrowly missed hitting several people inside their homes, who had no idea about the running gun battle going on outside their front doors.

Two men were hospitalized. Police believe the men were shooting at eachother in a running gun battle.

However, this is one of those frustrating cases for investigators, where they got to the scene around 11:30, just after this happened this morning. There were close to a hundred people standing around, yet nobody seems to have seen anything.

"I was laying right here," Anita Johnson said. "Just laying like this watching tv," she said motioning to the mattress.

Just inches from Johnson's head, a stray bullet pierced her bedroom wall and the very mattress she was lying on.

"And I looked out the window and I just started seeing everybody running and I saw the smoke, but I didn't know the bullet was down there when I was looking out the window," Johnson said.

She had just moved her family here from Chicago.

"That's too close," she said. "I have six kids and my 4 year old always laid right there, in the bed, with me, so I'm just thank God I didn't get hurt and I thank God he wasn't here."

The shooting forced two schools nearby, Clark Academy and the Winton Hills Academy, to go on lockdown while police secured the neighborhood.

"It makes me feel scared," Johnson said. "I was in shock, I was shaken."

Police are calling this their working theory of how it all went down.

"Maybe it started back in the parking lot off of Winneste Avenue maybe a running gun battle between the two suspects," said Commander David Bailey with Cincinnati Police Department, District #5. "The two individuals involved then made it's way from the back parking lot out toward Winneste in a westerly direction."

The bullets hit a car and apartments. Police have recovered most of the casings and are investigating.

"Yeah, it's crazy," Johnson said. "Very crazy."

The man police found with a gunshot wound to his stomach at Winton Terrace was in surgery Friday afternoon at University Hospital. No word yet on his identity or condition.

And police said Good Samaritan Hospital security called them to report a man had walked into their ER with gunshot wounds. Police don't know yet if the two men knew eachother or if these are separate incidents.

If you think you have any information that could help police, you can remain anonymous. Call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.

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