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Ginther calls upon community to help stop violence after deadly Bicentennial Park shooting

On Saturday night, 16-year-old Olivia Kurtz was killed and five others were hurt in a shooting at Bicentennial Park.

Mayor Andrew Ginther called on members of the community to help stop the violence in Columbus after a teenager was killed and others were injured in a shooting at Bicentennial Park this past weekend.

The mayor, along with Interim Police Chief Michael Woods and Deputy Chief Tim Becker with the Columbus Division of Police, held a press conference Monday to provide an update on the shooting.

You can watch the briefing below:


Deputy Chief Woods said dispatchers started receiving calls Saturday night around 10 p.m. regarding noise complaints at the park.

Police described the gathering as a "pop-up party" that was not sanctioned by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.

By 10:39 p.m., more calls complained of a larger crowd and there was some kind of a disturbance, but no information regarding violence or assaults.

Woods said as the first cruiser arrived at the park, police began receiving calls of a shooting at the park.

As those at the party began to run from the scene, officers found six people that had been shot and two others who were possibly trampled as the crowd ran away.

One shooting victim, 16-year-old Olivia Kurtz, was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Deputy Chief Becker said one of those who were injured is a woman who helped police locate a missing child in a stolen SUV earlier this year.

With many witnesses fleeing the scene, Woods asked them to contact police with any information or photos and video they may have from the party.

The mayor added while Columbus isn’t the only city experiencing a spike in violence, it is still truly devastating to see it in our streets and across our neighborhoods.

"I have said it before, I will say it again and I will keep on saying it, put the guns down,” he said. “We need every single member of our community to step forward and hold those who commit these crimes accountable for their actions.”

Since a majority of the people in the park were teens, Ginther called on families to stay connected with the youth in their lives by knowing where they are at all times and enforce curfews.

"The city and the division of police cannot raise children. We need families to do that," he said.

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