Sorrow and outrage are mounting Wednesday morning after three people, including two children, were fatally shot inside a vehicle Tuesday night on Columbus' Southeast Side near Canal Winchester.
Police identified the victims early Wednesday morning as 22-year-old Charles Wade; 9-year-old Demitrius Wall'neal; and Londynn Wall'neal, a 6-year-old girl.
As Columbus Assistant Police Chief LaShanna Potts spoke during a media briefing Tuesday night in the entrance at the 6600 block of Kodiak Drive at the Winchester Lakes Apartments.
"They are babies. They deserve to be here. This mother is grieving, this family is devastated," Potts said. "...There is nothing I can say to this family that will bring them closure."
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On Wednesday, Columbus police homicide Detective Terry Kelley called 9-year-old Demetrius Wall-Neal and 6-year-old Londynn Wall-Neal beautiful children, and the scene of the triple homicide was shocking even to seasoned investigators.
"I can tell you that this one was different," he said. "Londynn, the 6-year-old little girl, was beautiful. (An) absolutely beautiful little girl. Her brother, the same thing. That takes a toll on the officers."
Here's what we know about the shooting.
What happened at the Winchester Lakes Apartments on Kodiak Drive?
Columbus police were dispatched at 6:16 p.m. on a report of shots fired in the 6600 block of Kodiak Drive at the Winchester Lakes Apartments, which is located on the south side of Winchester Lakes Boulevard, east of Gender Road and north of U.S. 33.
At a media briefing held near the entrance to the apartment complex, Potts said responding officers found a vehicle on Kodiak Drive that was riddled with bullet holes.
Police: Victims were pronounced dead around 6:45 p.m.
Officers found three victims there and rendered aid, Potts said, but medics pronounced the three dead at about 6:45 p.m.
Why were the victims shot?
Police say they don't know an answer to this as of early Wednesday morning.
In a release Wednesday morning, police said two armed suspects approached a vehicle, where the victims sat, and fired shots "without any apparent warning or provocation." A third suspect was waiting in a nearby vehicle and drove the shooters away, police said.
Police: Fourth victim was transported to the hospital
A police dispatcher said a fourth person was transported in a Columbus police vehicle to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center from the scene, but had no additional information on that person's condition or if the person was shot.
What police are saying about the incident
"We have two young kids who have been murdered," Potts said. "This is unacceptable. I am pissed. It's getting tiresome. This gun violence has got to stop."
She added that Columbus police are actively seeking suspects responsible for the killings.
"We will find these monsters," she said. "We cannot allow this to continue."
Columbus shootings rise past record
The three slayings Tuesday night have raised the total homicides in Columbus to 186. That's a single-year record for the city that may continue to climb with more than three weeks left in 2021.
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Which department should you call to report homicide tips to Columbus police?
Anyone with information on any homicide can call the Columbus Division of Police's Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or report an anonymous tip to the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.
Information from Columbus Dispatch reporters Eric Lagatta and Holly Zachariah was used to compile this report.
Reach Chris Pugh at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisPughEdits.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Outrage grows after Columbus triple homicide that killed two children