Psychologist weighs in on development in deadly shooting at gend - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Psychologist weighs in on development in deadly shooting at gender reveal party

(Cheyanne Willis/Facebook) (Cheyanne Willis/Facebook)
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) -

A Northern Kentucky psychologist is providing perspective after police announced that the Colerain Township woman who said she lost her unborn child during a mass shooting that left eight injured and one dead was not even pregnant.

Police said that 21-year-old Cheyanne Willis was the host of a "gender reveal" party at a house on Capstan Drive July 8 to announce the sex of her unborn baby.

[PREVIOUS: Search continues for suspects in mass shooting that hurt 9, killed 1]

The party, according to authorities, turned into a deadly shooting when what witnesses described as two hooded gunmen busted into the home that night. Three children and six adults were shot. Autumn Garrett, 22, of Indiana died at the scene.

Willis told local media outlets the following day that she had been shot in the leg and had lost her baby. However, police said Monday that Willis was not actually pregnant when the party and shooting took place.

Dr. Ed Connor, a Clinical Psychologist in Northern Kentucky, told FOX19 NOW that there are a number of reasons someone might fake a pregnancy.

"They have to have the attention, or perhaps it's to get money or gifts in a very manipulative, conniving way, or perhaps it's to make someone else jealous," Dr. Connor said. "The real tragedy is that people would resort to this type of behavior for whatever the reason because it triggers such despair and angst and anxiety in those who really do want to have a baby or those who have recently lost a baby."

Dr. Connor said that in some cases, people who are delusional may truly believe they are pregnant when they are not, but he's not sure that's what happened with Willis.

"[There appeared to be] some degree of deceit and manipulativeness because it went to such an extent. It was pre-planned, pre-meditated," Dr. Connor said.

Police said that they have wasted hours on false information and "leads known to be lies."

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters exclusively told FOX19 NOW that he believes Willis was not in the room when the shooting happened. It's not clear what that means for the investigation.

Police said that it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether Willis will face charges.

There was a GoFundMe page in place for Willis, but it appears to have been taken down.

An anonymous donor is offering $10,000 for information that would lead to arrests.

The reward money comes as Colerain Township Police, Cincinnati Police and federal investigators search for the suspects in the case.  Little information about the shooting or suspects has been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call or text 513-470-7165.

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