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Teen dies from Christmas morning shooting Downtown, 17-year-old arrested, police say

Teen dies from Christmas morning shooting Downtown, 17-year-old arrested, police say
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 9:13 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2021 at 10:10 AM EST

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A 16-year-old girl died Tuesday after she was shot on Christmas morning in downtown Cincinnati, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office confirms.

Desire Coston was pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a coroner’s report shows.

The coroner’s office ruled her death as a homicide.

Coroner officials confirm Coston was the victim critically hurt in a shooting about 11:15 a.m. Saturday.

It happened at the Gateway Plaza Apartments off West Ninth Street and Central Avenue.

Cincinnati police announced on Dec. 3 there was an active runaway warrant for the teen after she ran away from her Evanston foster home and refused to return.

She was last seen leaving the foster home on Kinney Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27.

According to police, the teen texted her foster mom she wouldn’t return and wanted to stay with her aunt.

One of Coston’s relatives said she was never missing but she didn’t want to be at that foster home.

Mitch Morris, an outreach coordinator with the Cincinnati Works Phoenix Program, says he has been helping Coston’s grieving family since the teen’s death.

“Sad like anybody, you know, family member who lost someone to gun violence,” explained Morris. “People are upset right now.”

Western Hills High School, where Coston attended, released a statement following her death:

“The Western Hills High School community is devastated by the loss of one of our students this week.”

After the coroner’s office reported Coston’s death, Cincinnati police homicide investigators announced they arrested 17-year-old Rico Pryor early Wednesday and charged him “with murder for the death of Ms. Coston.”

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge early Thursday.

Pryor is also facing charges of felonious assault and receiving stolen property, according to a Hamilton County Juvenile Court spokeswoman.

Police said in a news release officers responded to the apartments after receiving a 911 call about a person shot.

FOX19 NOW has requested a recording of the call.

We also have a request into officials with Hamilton County Juvenile Court and Hamilton County Department of Job & Family Services.

Homicide detectives say they are continuing to investigate.

Anyone with information is asked to call CPD’s Homicide Unit: 513-352-3542.

This is the 93rd homicide so far this year in Cincinnati following a record high of 94 slayings last year.

Morris said he knows the community is feeling the pain from the violence and he promises steps are being taken to curb it.

“We get discouraged, but we have to stay in this fight and keep fighting,” Morris said. “We cannot quit.”

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