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‘Everybody is important:’ Homeless advocates remember man killed in OTR shooting

Police have said the man was likely an innocent bystander to the shooting that killed him.
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:04 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Hamilton County grand jury this week indicted the man accused of killing Douglas Robinson in Over-the-Rhine earlier this month.

Donta Cody, 30, is charged with murder, assault and weapons possession.

The 61-year-old Robinson, who experienced chronic homelessness, was an abiding, mannerly presence in the neighborhood. Now a memorial sits beside the bit of sidewalk on Walnut Street where he took his last breath.

Police have said Robinson was likely an innocent bystander to the shooting that killed him.

Donta Cody
Donta Cody(Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

Sam Landis, founder of Maslow’s Army, says his organization has stepped up to fill the role of Robinson’s family by working to bury and memorialize him.

“We want to be their family,” Landis said of the unhoused people for which Maslow’s Army advocates. “So we take that responsibility on.”

Derek Smith says he used to be homeless and lived on the streets with Robinson for eight years. Robinson’s death came as a shock to him.

“I just didn’t think it was him,” Smith said. “I didn’t believe it ‘til I seen the picture.”

Smith describes Robinson as someone who would help others despite not having enough for himself.

Brian Garry, chair of Neighborhoods United, knew Robinson for decades. He imploring people not to judge Robinson, but to mourn his death as they would any other member of the communty.

“You can’t look at a person and tell if they’re able to work,” he said. “They may have other issues, which he suffered from.”

Said Smith, “Everybody is important.”

Smith added Robinson’s death will be felt on the streets.

“He touched a lot of people, and he will be missed in the community.”

Cody will be arraigned in court May 21.

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