People at Ohio gender reveal party tied to drug circles, police say

Posted at 12:43 PM, Aug 22, 2017

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A mass shooting at a gender reveal party last month was "in no way random," according to the Colerain Township Police Department.

Several people at the party had connections to three different drug circles, department spokesman Jim Love said. The public isn't believed to be in danger.

The investigation will be lengthy, Love said, as investigators sift through tens of thousands of text messages, emails and other evidence. Police expect multiple arrests, some for the shooting and others coming from related investigations.

Several victims and witnesses haven't been helpful, Love said. One victim, Cheyanne Willis, claimed she lost her unborn baby after she was shot in the leg, but police said she wasn't pregnant in the first place.


Love said investigators have faced other roadblocks because some people have left out key information or flat-out lied.

"The harm that this has caused the investigation cannot be over-stated," he said.

Tuesday is the second time Colerain police publicly blasted victims and witnesses for being uncooperative: Two weeks after the shooting, Police Chief Mark Denney said Willis' claim of being pregnant was just one example of how much time investigators have "wasted following leads known to be lies."


The gender reveal party, held July 8 at a home on Capstan Drive, was for Willis. It's a kind of baby shower, in which an expectant parent or parents share the sex of their unborn child.

Police believe two gunmen entered through the front door and fired 14 rounds while partygoers watched a movie.

Autum Garrett, 22, of Huntington, Indiana, was killed. The victims included five other adults and three children, ages 2, 6 and 8. They have been recovering. The gunfire also injured a dog.

A police report says officers recovered an unloaded handgun from the home's front yard; Denney told Cincinnati-based WCPO there was no shootout. He said he thought the renter owns the gun.

No one has been arrested, and police haven't identified any suspects.