Sep 6, 2019
The expression, its appearance blank. No sign of hatred, no glimmer of emotion or concern. A deadness. The right arm is stretched toward him, drawing a target for the gun in hand. "I see him every day," Jim Meyers said, quietly but distinctly. "Every day. I saw him when I was in the shower this morning. It is burned into my mind." The 9mm semi-automatic handgun shattering away the morning of Sept. 6, 2018, in Cincinnati's Fifth Third Center first hit one of Meyers' construction co-workers in the back, and then a second co-worker, who would die.
The explosion killed two more people and left a woman riddled with 12 bullets she somehow survived. Gunman Omar Santa Perez, 29, whose goal for the shooting remains unexplained, died moments later in a police attack. Three killed isn't even close to the highest death casualties from the mass shootings that trouble the United States. A sum of 38 people died last month in three shootings. One in nearby Dayton killed nine people scarcely a month before the anniversary of the Cincinnati shootings. But the damages extend past mortality counts. The wounds aren't just visible. Karen Rumsey, a social worker who heads Cincinnati Police Department victims' services, said the shootings in a downtown Dayton entertainment division some 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of those at Cincinnati's Fountain Square triggered requests from people she had counseled last year. Their remembrances of detecting shooting, escaping and hiding, and the deaths of relatives, friends, and associates were agitated by gunfire in another public meeting area not far away. "People are still struggling," Rumsey said. "Lives change forever because of the actions of one person." For some, the strains become too much. Suicides that have followed mass shootings include those at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 and at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. For family members of those killed, the pain persists over losing a loved one so abruptly. "It's a lot to go through; it's the type of thing that you don't ever think it's going to happen to you," said Larry Newcomer, voice choking as he described discovering his older brother, Rick Newcomer, 64, had been killed. "That's probably one of the regrets because you always think you'll have more time." Also killed were Prudhvi Raj Kandepi, 25, a Fifth Third consultant, and Luis Felipe Calderon, 48, a Fifth Third employee. Brian Sarver, 46, and Whitney Austin, 38, both fired on at close range, often wonder why they avoided being killed that day. Sarver, Meyers, and Newcomer were gathering in the entryway to discuss a construction project. The first shot hit Sarver from behind and exited his body. Newcomer, mortally injured, accompanied Sarver down a stairwell while a security guard helped Meyers to one on the other side of the antechamber. Austin, a Fifth Third executive just coming from her Louisville house for meetings, was focusing on a conference call as she came through the revolving entrance. Shots knocked her down, facing the outdoor square. She attempted to touch her left arm, but it was like "a dummy arm." It grabbed the shooter's attention, and he came back to shoot into her prostrate body. She pretended to be lifeless, and the gunman departed. She assumed she would die, but then recognized a Cincinnati police officer and screamed at him to save her for her kids. Austin soon established Whitney/Strong, a foundation committed to defeating gun violence, endeavoring common ground on the unpredictable subject of gun control. She gave up her Fifth Third job to concentrate full time on her new purpose. To increase her comprehension, she took gun safety training classes and forced herself to discharge a firearm.
The face, its expression blank. No sign of anger, no flicker of excitement or worry. A numbness.The right arm is extended toward him, lining up a target for the gun in hand. "I see him every day," Jim Meyers said, calmly but emphatically. "Every day. I saw him when I was in the shower this morning. It is burned into my mind." The 9mm semi-automatic handgun blasting away the morning of Sept. 6, 2018, in Cincinnati's Fifth Third Center first hit one of Meyers' construction co-workers in the back, and then a second co-worker, who would die. The gunfire killed two more people and left a woman riddled with 12 bullets she somehow survived.