Woman shot at her gender-reveal party was not pregnant, police say
CINCINNATI — An Ohio woman who claimed she lost her baby during a shooting at her gender reveal party was never pregnant, police told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cheyanne Willis, 21, hosted friends for a gender reveal party on July 8. Two gunmen opened fire at the party killing Autum Garrett, 22 of Huntington, Indiana, and injuring 8 others. An 8-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old were among the victims who suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said.
“The purpose of the party was to disclose the gender of Cheyanne Willis’ unborn child,” an officer wrote in a police report obtained by the paper.
Willis was shot in the leg and treated for her injuries. According to the paper, a family member said Willis was “no longer pregnant” after the shooting.
In a statement released on Monday, police said the media and public were given information that was false.
“We were led to believe an unborn child was murdered in this incident only to find out that was not the case,” police said in the statement. “From the very beginning of this investigation, we have met significant resistance that is uncommon from victims of crime wanting a resolution.”
Police said they will no longer comment on misleading information and will instead focus all resources on solving the case.
In 911 calls from the incident obtained by CNN affiliate WCPO, witnesses sound panicked and confused as to what has happened.
“There’s a whole lot of people here are shot,” one man tells the operator, as people scream in the background.
“I just seen two people walk by, I looked outside, next thing I know they just ran in and just start shooting,” the man says. He tells the operator he thinks he has been shot in the stomach and that he’s bleeding.
Another woman calls 911 from outside the house.
“There is little kids hurt and everything,” she says. “I was sitting in my car, they just ran in and started shooting. There’s a pregnant girl here … oh my God.”
At the request of the operator the woman yells at people in the house to find out how many people have been shot but is unable to establish the number. She says she saw the gunmen run away.
One caller says, “We were having a baby shower, like a reveal party.”
A neighbor calls emergency services, but cannot provide details of the injured.
“Ma’am, all I know is, I don’t know what’s going on, all I know is she’s a neighbor. I was at home minding my business and I just heard someone in distress banging on my door and a young lady was bleeding and she said she’d been shot and so had someone else and I just tried to come out and see what was going on,” she says.
‘It was horrific’
Candice Verga, a family friend who attended the party, told WLWT it was “positive” and “happy.” All of that changed when she heard the gunshots.
“Everybody’s screaming and crying and it’s just all panic and I’m even shaking and everything,” Verga said.
Neighbor Cheyenne Sizemore heard what sounded like six to seven gunshots, according to WLWT.
“It was a pretty quick succession, it was one after the other, like they went in there and they unloaded as many bullets as they possibly could and then ran off,” Sizemore said.
Officers were dispatched to a call of shots fired about 11:21 p.m., police said.
One responding officer said “it was horrific, something that was unimaginable,” Love said.