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Police shooting in Cincinnati near Music Hall: Man killed after chase

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Cincinnati held a news conference Friday afternoon and released more information about the fatal police shooting of a man Thursday near Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine.

Officers had been pursuing the man from Cincinnati’s West Side after a woman was stabbed in a “domestic” incident earlier that evening, Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge said. When police stopped the man near Music Hall, the chief said, he was armed with a gun and refused to drop it.

The police pursuit following the stabbing and shooting prompted the city of Cincinnati to tweet that an “emergency” had occurred near the Music Hall at 7:21 p.m. About 15 minutes later they gave the all-clear. It happened about 15 minutes before the premiere of “La Traviata.”

The stabbing victim, whose name was not released, underwent surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Theetge said. Although the woman was still in critical condition Friday, investigators were able to speak with her.

Theetge identified the man shot by police as 48-year-old Juan Mack.

Here’s what we know about the incident, which led to a massive police deployment in the busy area near Washington Park.

What triggered the police persecution

The incident began with a 911 call at 6:43 p.m. reporting a stabbing on Parkcrest Lane in Westwood. The caller reported that a woman jumped out of a car and ran toward his garage, whereupon a man stabbed her approximately 10 times and fled.

“This lady needs help now,” the caller said.

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Shooting near Music Hall on Thursday: Teresa Theetge gives update

Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge provides an update on the shooting that occurred near Music Hall Thursday night.

Theetge said police found the car, a blue Toyota Camry, about 20 minutes later at the corner of Enright and Warsaw avenues in East Price Hill. She said officers noticed the driver was covered in blood and tried to pull him over. But Mack refused to stop.

What happened near the Cincinnati Music Hall?

The video shows Mack stopping at the corner of Elm Street and West 12th Street and getting out of the Camry with a .40 caliber Ruger pistol in his hand.

He walked down the sidewalk past Memorial Hall toward the Music Hall. At least a dozen police officers followed him, ordering him to stop and drop his weapon. They were trying to get the crowds streaming into the Music Hall for the opera to move out of the way and go inside. A patrol car followed him slowly down the street, and the officers used it as cover.

Mack remained standing near the music hall while the officer repeatedly ordered him to surrender the weapon. A sergeant fired several 40 mm foam rounds at Mack, but he still held onto the weapon, Theetge said.

She added that Mack told officers if they shot him with foam bullets again, he would “start banging” and told them to drop their weapons first.

The police chief said Mack eventually pointed his gun at the officers and four officers fired a total of six shots at Mack. She said several officers immediately began assisting Mack.

Mack’s car was parked for hours with two flat tires on Elm Street south of the Music Hall. No passersby or police officers were injured in the incident.

Cincinnati Police Union: “The officers followed their training”

After a chase through several neighborhoods, Mack got out of his vehicle armed with a handgun, ignored officers’ orders to drop the weapon and pointed it at the police officers, according to Cincinnati Police Union President Ken Kober.

“These officers followed their training and protected their lives by shooting the suspect,” Kober said in a statement posted on Facebook. “Fortunately, no innocent people or officers were injured.”

Cincinnati Opera: “Your safety is our top priority”

The Cincinnati Opera addressed the incident in a letter to its guests on Friday afternoon.

“We are grateful to the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) for their quick response in ensuring the safety of the community. We are also grateful that no visitors or employees of the Cincinnati Opera or Music Hall were involved in the incident,” the letter said.

“Please be assured that your safety is our top priority,” the letter continues. “We are working with the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA), which manages the Music Hall, and CPD to ensure a safe environment at the Music Hall.”

The Cincinnati Opera added that the company has implemented “extensive security measures” for all performances and events. The measures include on-site security, metal detectors, bag checks and emergency training for all building staff.

What’s next?

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said the Cincinnati Police Department’s Internal Investigations Division and the Cincinnati Citizen Complaints Authority have already launched parallel use-of-force investigations.

“We are committed to a thorough process,” Pureval said.

Police have not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting, citing Marsy’s Law, a law designed to protect the identities of crime victims. The Enquirer’s sister paper in Columbus, The Dispatch, has filed suit against police for failing to release the names of officers after a shooting. In Florida, courts have sided with the press on this issue.

Recent fatal police shootings in Cincinnati

Leonard Brewington, 34, was shot and killed by a Cincinnati police officer in July 2022 at a UDF store on Red Bank Road in Madisonville.

According to body camera footage and police reports of the incident, Brewington pointed a loaded gun at the officer and ignored orders to get on the ground as the officer fired five shots.

Three months earlier, 20-year-old Ali Coulter was shot and killed by Cincinnati police in Covington. Police had come to his mother’s house to ask her if she knew where he was. Coulter was wanted in Hamilton County for murder.

Officials said as officers approached the home, Coulter came out with a loaded handgun and refused to drop it despite being ordered to do so.

Before Coulter’s death, the last fatal shooting by Cincinnati police occurred in August 2018, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings.

Enquirer reporters Cameron Knight, Bebe Hodges, Erin Couch, Sharon Coolidge and photojournalist Cara Owsley contributed to this report

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