Just outside of Cincinnati, in a long flat house, a family gathered Saturday to learn the sex of their newest member.
They learned it, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported; the baby was a boy. The family celebrated and stayed up late into the night in that home in Colerain Township — until someone came in from outside.
There were two gunmen dressed in black, the Associated Press reported. Or maybe colored hoodies, a woman would scream to a 911 dispatcher in the chaos afterward.
“They were acting sneaky,” said the woman, who was outside the house and audibly distressed, in the 911 call posted by WCPO. “Then they ran in the house and started shooting.”
“They shot all of us,” a man told a dispatcher from inside the house, just before midnight, as children screamed in the background.
The gunmen were gone and a woman was dead when help arrived, police told reporters.
Three children and five adults were wounded: so many victims that nearby jurisdictions had to lend ambulances, according to Fox 19.
“It would seem, by what I was told, it was just random shooting,” police spokesman Jim Love told reporters. “It didn’t seem like they were purposely shooting for a child — but I’m not even sure of that.”
No one involved has been identified, and no arrests were reported Sunday.
As investigators moved through the house the next day, a WCPO reporter saw a downcast woman on crutches outside.
She was the mother-to-be, the woman told the reporter — the reason for the party.
She said she’d been shot in the leg and lost the baby.
“These are the nights you look back on and you regret they ever happened,” Love told WKRC-TV. Police weren’t immediately reachable by The Washington Post.
In 911 calls from Saturday, dispatchers try again and again to figure out how many in the house were shot.
Between sobbing, screaming and victims in shock, they never get a clear answer.
“A whole lot,” says a man who reported he was bleeding himself – maybe from the stomach; he wasn’t sure.
“I just seen two people walk by, I looked outside, the next thing I know they just ran in and just started shooting,” he said.
A woman sobbed uncontrollably into the phone.
“Please stop screaming so I can help you,” the dispatcher said.
“I want an ambulance please,” said the woman. “My husband’s dying.”
And when the police spokesman addressed reporters hour later, he said the responding officer had no more success counting the victims.
“He just said it was horrific,” Love said. “He just said it was something that unimaginable. When he started calling for help, he just said: ‘What can I say? I’ve got a lot of people that are shot. I need ambulances.'”
The township fire department ran out, according to Fox 19, so neighboring agencies sent more.
By Sunday, WLWT reported, an unnamed woman was dead, seven victims appear likely to pull through, and one was still in “very, very serious” condition.
The pregnant woman had lived in the house, according to a Fox 19 reporter, but police have not yet confirmed if the unborn child died in the aftermath.