CINCINNATI – Cincinnati police are downplaying what many believed was a social media threat to shoot up the Cameo Night Club early Sunday morning.
Chief Eliot Isaac said investigators are aware of an image resembling a Facebook post making the rounds online. It shows a woman holding a gun accompanied by the status: “Bout to go shoot Cameos up.”
Several people emailed the image to WCPO asking about its validity. The time stamp, if the post is real, was 90 minutes before an actual mass shooting inside the club killed one customer and wounded 16 others. WCPO is unable to verify when and if the post actually appeared on Facebook.
However, Isaac said he's confident it's not legitimate.
“I don't believe (the Facebook user) was involved at this point,” Isaac told WCPO. “I saw that and I was made aware of that by our investigators, who are telling me that they don't believe that's related.”
Isaac, Fire Chief Richard Braun and City Manager Harry Black updated a city council committee on the shootings and the investigation Monday morning at City Hall.
Eliot said police were not sure if the dispute between the shooters started outside or inside the club.
“At this point, the investigation is basically telling us that the dispute took place in the bar and that's where it occurred,” Isaac said. “Now, if something occurred earlier in the day, that's a possibility, but I can't really confirm that.”
Isaac said four uniformed officers working a security detail in the parking lot rushed inside to aid victims once they heard the shots. They also had to survey the scene before they could give paramedics the all-clear to enter.
Braun said the officers’ quick actions “helped saved lives.”
“They had to make quick decisions on we need to get in and we need to try triaging and they did just that,” Braun said.
Isaac said witnesses are assisting investigators but more information is needed. No arrests have been made.
“We've had a number of individuals come forward — a number of individuals call Crime Stoppers,” Isaac said. “I want to continue to urge people to call and come forward. There’s still much work to be done.”
Amid calls to review security for the city and clubs in general, Black said there is no "failsafe defense or prevention" for such an incident.
"Perhaps there are certain things we can do to prepare or lessen the blow," Black said.
Those might include mandatory security requirements for club owners and new gun control efforts.