CLEVELAND, OHIO — A gunman who killed three people at a house in Cleveland turned his gun on a young girl and her pregnant mother when they came upon the murder scene, police in the U.S. state of Ohio said on Saturday, appealing for the public’s help to find the person responsible.
The incident occurred at around 7:30 p.m. local time on Friday when a 41-year-old pregnant woman, who was accompanied by her 9-year-old daughter and her 2-year-old son, drove up to a house on Cleveland’s east side. The woman and her son remained inside the vehicle while the girl went inside to retrieve clothing, which is when she came upon the murder scene.
“While inside of the home, the 9-year-old discovered one or some of the shooting victims, a 60-year-old male, a 19-year-old male and a 17-year-old female,” Cleveland police spokeswoman Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said. “At that time, a male armed with a handgun ran toward the 9-year-old and fired a shot, grazing the girl in the chest.”
The unidentified gunmen, who was described as wearing a mask, then proceeded to the driveway where he shot the pregnant woman as well. Ciaccia said the toddler, who was in the back seat of the car, was not harmed during the shooting.
Both the pregnant woman and her daughter were rushed to University Hospital Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, where the woman was pronounced dead upon arrival. Her unborn baby, a boy who was 28 weeks into the pregnancy, was also pronounced dead. The girl was treated and and released, after which both she and the toddler were taken to relatives.
“Officers and detectives worked the crime scene through the night and continue to process evidence. The motive of the incident has yet to be determined,” Detective Ciaccia said, urging anyone with information to contact investigators. “The Division of Police will continue to work with the Violent Crimes Task Force to solve this crime.”