COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 16-year-old girl was killed and five people, all under 20 years old, were hurt in a shooting during a private party Saturday night at Bicentennial Park in downtown Columbus.
Columbus police said when officers arrived at the scene they found several people who had been shot.
Olivia Kurtz, 16, was taken to Grant Medical Center and was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m. Sunday.
Police said a 16-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, two 19-year-old women and a 19-year-old man were also shot. All are expected to recover from their injuries.
Two other people were injured in the panic that ensued after shots were fired at the park, police said. They were self-transported to the hospital and treated for their injuries, which were described as minor.
Deputy Chief Tim Becker said the party was not sanctioned by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and he described the gathering as a "pop-up party." However, Becker said there was some planning involved for the party as there was a DJ and a large crowd.
Becker said officers patrol parks but normally at the time of night the shooting happened, there is no one at Bicentennial Park.
Becker said Columbus police leaders will discuss how to be more proactive in terms of covering and responding to areas where people do not normally congregate, especially in a popular downtown precinct.
That could involve cameras or other technology fixes, he said.
Kurtz's death is the 77th homicide in Columbus of 2021.
Columbus City Schools confirmed with 10TV that Kurtz attended school in the district.
Becker said he is heartbroken to any life taken too soon. "I've talked to a lot of these mothers and fathers who have lost a kid. I know that wound never heals," he said.
Police have not made any arrests and are still looking for the suspect, or suspects, wanted in the shooting.
Anyone who was at the event, has video or photos of the event or has information about the case is asked to call the Columbus Police Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.