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Police: Woman who hosted her own gender-reveal party where 9 were shot wasn't pregnant

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/17/2017 Jennie Key
A home at the corner of Capstan and Hollis in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township, Ohio, was the scene of a shooting July 8, 2017, that left nine shot, including one fatally. © Liz Dufour, The Cincinnati Enquirer A home at the corner of Capstan and Hollis in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township, Ohio, was the scene of a shooting July 8, 2017, that left nine shot, including one fatally.

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A woman hosting her own gender-reveal party where nine people were shot a week and a half ago wasn't pregnant, police said Monday.

False information is hampering the investigation into the shooting that killed Autum Garrett, 22, of Huntington, Ind.,  and wounded eight others at a July 8 party that Cheyanne Willis, 21, was throwing to tell friends and relatives she would be giving birth to a boy in coming months, township Police Chief Mark Denney said.

This July 9, 2017 photo shows a home in Colerain Township, Ohio, that was the scene of a deadly shooting Saturday, July 8, at a gender reveal party. Colerain Township police said multiple gunmen opened fire at the house party. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP) © The Associated Press This July 9, 2017 photo shows a home in Colerain Township, Ohio, that was the scene of a deadly shooting Saturday, July 8, at a gender reveal party. Colerain Township police said multiple gunmen opened fire at the house party. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP) "All we have at this point is speculation," he said. Police have not made any arrests.

The police, media and public, "have been given information we have found to be false. Hours and days have been wasted following leads known to be lies when they were provided to our officers," Denney said in a statement. "From the very beginning of this investigation, we have met significant resistance that is uncommon from victims of crime wanting a resolution."

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Among the misleading pieces of information: that an unborn child died from the wounds, he said.

Garrett was Willis' cousin, and a family member who also was shot said July 9 that Willis had lost her fetus after being shot in the thigh. Willis had been released from the hospital that morning.

Bryan Garrett, Autum Garrett's husband, was shot in the eye, and the couple's young daughter and son also were shot. A third child, three other adults whose names have not been revealed, and a dog also were injured, according to a police report released Friday.

The shooting happened late on a Saturday night after the party that began around 4 p.m. ET had ended. But more than a dozen people of the 30 who originally were there stayed behind.

The group had just turned out the lights to watch a Spider-Man film when two men in hoodies came in the front door, police were told. They sprayed the living room with gunfire, firing at least 14 rounds, without saying a word, according to the police report.

Willis had been living in the home with her fiancé for about five months, family members have said. He apparently was outside talking to a neighbor at the time of the 11:20 p.m. shooting.

At least four people called 911 to report the shooting. Some were partygoers and were hurt. At times, screaming and children crying drowned out one caller's voice.

"I think a baby's been shot. I think I got hit," one caller said. "There's a whole lot of people here shot. They just ran in and started shooting."

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What police don't know: whether a Christmas Eve 2015 attack on Willis is related to this shooting.

She was beaten, robbed, had hair cut off and something written on her face near Forest Fair Village mall in another Cincinnati suburb, Forest Park, Ohio. The incident, which stemmed from a car robbery, was recorded with a cellphone and the video was posted to social media.

A woman and a man were arrested in connection with that case, but a Hamilton County grand jury ignored the charges and the two were never prosecuted.

Contributing: Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer. Follow Jennie Key on Twitter: @keyNWP

 

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