At least nine people were injured in a mass shooting in downtown Cincinnati early Sunday, police said.
As the shooter was actively firing, Officer Joe Shook, who has been with the Cincinnati Police Department since 2016, fired a shot, Lt. Col. Mike John said at a news conference. It was unknown whether the bullet struck the shooter, he added.
The shooter fled, he said, and nobody was in custody.
More shots were fired after the shooter fled, leading police to believe there were at least two shooters, John said at a second news conference later Sunday.
None of the victims were “in critical condition, and most of those injuries are lower extremity injuries,” he said.
All nine victims had been released from University of Cincinnati Medical Center by Sunday morning, hospital spokesperson Heather Chura Smith told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Chura Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The victims — eight men and a woman — were ages 23 to 47, John said.
The Enquirer reported that, according to police, the shooting started as a physical altercation between two groups.
A police department representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A large crowd that had quickly gathered dispersed after officers deployed “two bang balls” in the air, he said, as they tried to make way for emergency services to treat the wounded.
According to preliminary information, the person whom police encountered was wearing a white shirt and dark pants, John said, adding that investigators were canvassing the scene and looking for witnesses. Video will also be reviewed, he said.
John praised the response of Shook — the officer who returned fire — saying his actions saved lives.
“He acted immediately, he ran toward the gunfire, and but for the actions of him, we can only imagine what type of injuries we’d have for people,” John said.
At least two people were shot in a separate incident in Cincinnati’s Central Business District, John said. He did not say whether the shootings were related, and he provided no information about the status of the victims or details about any suspect.