US: Active shooter in downtown Cincinnati

Police in the US city of Cincinnati say that four people, including the shooter, are dead and another five are injured after officers responded to an active shooter situation at a building downtown.

The Cincinatti Police Department said in a tweet on Thursday they were investigating an “active shooter/officer involved shooting” at the Fifth Third Bank, located in the city’s Fountain Square, a busy meeting place.

Streets around Fountain Square were closed Thursday morning and the area cordoned off.

The situation in Cincinatti appeared to be under control shortly before 10am [14:00 GMT].

Cincinatti Police Chief Elliot Isaac told reporters that downtown Cincinatti is “safe” and roads would soon be open.

Isaac was quoted by local media WCPO as saying there “was an exchange of gunfire between our officers and the suspect,” but was unable to confirm whether or not the alleged shooter was killed by police or ended their own life.

Cincinatti Mayor John Cranley offered “thoughts and prayers” to the victims’ families.

Controversy over mass shootings has been a motivation for growing protests in the United States over the past year. 

A mass shooting in February at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people – mostly minors – spurred demonstrations across the country.

Leaders of the movement, including survivors of the Parkland shooting, have called on politicians to stop offering “thoughts and prayers” instead of enacting stricter gun control.

There have been more than 500 mass shootings in the US in 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks gun-related violence.

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