Two shooting deaths in less than 48 hours would be big news in any metropolitan city, but for our small community, two homicides in two days is unprecedented. Although law enforcement officials state that the deaths were unrelated, they are linked by gun violence — which, for most residents, hits much too close to home.
Nestled in a usually quiet part of town, East Frankfort Park was the scene when shots rang out during a large Labor Day get-together shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, leaving a 25-year-old Cincinnati man dead and two others wit minor injuries.
Anthony L. Hendrix Jr. suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Frankfort Regional Medical Center a few hours later.
It didn’t take long for the social media rumor mill to begin churning misinformation, and the tragic situation was compounded further when at 8:26 p.m. Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted that there were “multiple casualties” — an ill-advised word choice that led many to believe there was more than one fatality.
Frankfort Mayor Bill May was quick to dispel rumors that an active shooter was at large in the community and looking to do additional harm, and that the shooter was randomly targeting people in the park.
“I am very concerned that this type of senseless violence happened in our community. It is even more upsetting that it happened in one of our city parks,” May said in a statement. “City parks should be safe places for the public to gather and enjoy time with friends and family.”
Still rattled by Tuesday’s headlines, Frankfort citizens were rocked again just over 24 hours later when news quickly spread of an overnight shooting in a downtown parking garage that left a 2014 Western Hills graduate and his dog dead and a Frankfort man behind bars.
While details of the latest incident are still emerging, what is abundantly clear is that no one desires this pointless gun violence in their backyard. But now that it is here, the question we as a community must answer is what, if anything, we are going to do about it.