Man charged in shooting of Covington children escalated fist fight with gunfire, police say

Footage compiled by investigators shows 41-year-old Thomas Brown shot first.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - The adult man arrested Tuesday in the Covington quadruple shooting that injured several children was first to fire, according to Covington police.

The shooting wounded three juveniles ages 11, 14 and 17 as well as 41-year-old Erlanger resident Thomas Brown.

The 14-year-old remains in critical condition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“The young lady that was shot unfortunately is in very bad shape,” Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said of her Wednesday. “She’s going to need everyone’s thoughts and prayers because assuming she survives she’s going to have a long road of recovery ahead of her.”

The shooting happened Monday night as a crowd of dozens gathered to watch two teenage girls engage in a fist fight, according to a warrant complaint for Brown’s arrest filed in Kenton County District Court.

Sanders called it a “mini-riot” with adults, juveniles, kids under the age of 10 and adults over the age of 40. “This was like all the neighborhood was brawling,” he said.

Investigators compiled footage from security cameras and cell phones they claim show Brown was among those gathered at the location.

“The crowd was already disorderly, but quickly becomes violent and tumultuous as far more than five individuals jump into the altercation,” the warrant complaint reads. “Brown is observed in the middle of the crowd producing a handgun and then shooting in the air.”

At that point, according to police, another male suspect with a handgun begins “exchanging gunfire” with Brown.

The warrant complaint continues: “As a result of Brown introducing a handgun to what was, until that point, a fist-fight, three children suffered serious physical injuries from gunshot wounds.”

Story continues below.

Police say Thomas Brown (right) touched off a gun fight Monday in Covington when he fired into...
Police say Thomas Brown (right) touched off a gun fight Monday in Covington when he fired into the air amid an argument involving several teenagers.(WXIX/Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

Brown was shot in the groin during the incident, police say. He was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and arrested by Cincinnati police upon his discharge.

He faces charges of assault, rioting and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

The warrant complaint notes Brown was previously convicted of multiple felonies including drug trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school, complicity to assault and wanton endangerment.

He remains in the Hamilton County Justice Center until his extradition hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday. Sanders says Brown will have a $1 million bond once he is extradited.

The other suspect is 17-year-old Taquan Estes.

Sanders says it’s clear both Estes and Brown were firing handguns but that it’s too early to tell whose rounds struck what individuals during the incident.

It’s also unclear whether Brown and Estes have a prior relationship. Police are investigating the matter.

Estes turned himself in to Covington police Wednesday. He faces charges of assault, rioting and handgun possession by a minor.

The 17-year-old wanted by Covington police in connection with Monday’s quadruple shooting turned himself in around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Estes’ family said he decided to turn himself in because it was the best outcome for everyone.

FOX19 NOW obtained video showing the moment shots were fired and people scrambling to get out of harm’s way.

WARNING: FOX19 has blurred and heavily cut the footage, but some viewers will still find it graphic.

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