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Covington shootings have residents on edge: ‘It’s just been getting bad’

Three shooting incidents have happened in the last seven days. Police do not believe they are related.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - A third shooting incident in the last week has Covington residents concerned for the safety of their families.

An officer-involved shooting Monday morning resulted in the death of a 20-year-old man whom court documents show was wanted in the April 6 murder of Christian Jones.

It happened in the area of 18th and Garrard streets. Ali Coulter came out of the back door and ran at the officers with a loaded revolver in his hand, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. A Cincinnati police officer shot him, and he was declared dead at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

“The officers followed their training and [Cincinnati Police Department] policy and shot the suspect,” FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils said. “While the loss of life is always tragic, this shows the terrible danger police officers face every day. A situation that began as just asking a family member a few questions quickly became a deadly threat to officers’ lives

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Bobby Meredith lives near the scene of the shooting.

“I heard like several gunshots,” he said. “It was right around 9:15-ish. I grabbed my son and went downstairs.”

Monday’s officer-involved shooting follows a shooting last Monday evening that police say happened as a large crowd gathered around two teenage girls fighting. It happened near West 17th and Russell streets.

Three children and 41-year-old Thomas brown were shot. Police say Brown escalated the incident with gunfire. A 17-year-old shooter eventually turned himself in.

One day after that shooting, an incident of mass gunfire rattled a nearby Covington neighborhood. Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sander has said the incidents are not connected, characterizing the shots-fired event as the fault of two people with “bad aim.”

No one was injured.

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“Lately it’s just been getting bad,” Meredith said.

Most of all, Meredith fears for his children.

“It really scares me because my kids come out here and play,” he said. “I have a finished yard with a swing set. I normally keep them playing. I don’t feel safe like I used to be.”

Richard Sandlin lives in the same area. He says he came out after the shooting looking for bullet holes in his car. Now he’s questioning the safety of the neighborhood.

“This is maybe just a chain of events that’s unfolding,” he said. “But if it keeps happening then it’s tragic, because this part of Covington really has potential to be a really nice place to live.”

Kentucky State Police is handling the investigation into Monday’s fatal shooting as it has statewide jurisdiction over officer-involved shootings.

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