Smale Park 4th of July shooting survivor shares her story a year later




A teenager shot dead at a 4th of July celebration at The Banks a year ago says her life has returned to normal in many ways. She is still working to overcome the trauma of what she experienced in July 2021. Brooke Williams, 17, is preparing to enter her senior year of high school. She looks forward to prom, visiting colleges, cheerleading, and performing with her competitive dance team. His mother Catrina Oliver is an emergency nurse at a local trauma center. She knows very well how violent and deadly gunshot wounds can be. Now she understands emotional trauma on a different level. “Every time I see someone lose their life, it’s hard not to think that it could have been my child. It was a call I never wanted to receive and I got it,” said said Oliver. The July 4 call informed her that her daughter, her only child, had been shot dead. Oliver said she warned her daughter not to go to the Banks that night, fearing a shooting might occur. RELATED: Williams went to see a movie in Newport with a few friends, then walked across the bridge to the Banks. She said she heard people fighting and stayed to watch what happened next. “I haven’t seen people fight, like, use their hands in years. So that was kind of like a red flag,” Williams said. Gunshots rang out as fireworks were set off. At first, Williams didn’t realize someone was shooting. Then people started running. “I just looked down and it turned out there was a hole in my arm,” Williams said. She was one of five teenage girls shot dead. Only three, all believed to be bystanders, survived. At the time, Cincinnati police said the two deceased young men were the shooters. The investigation is still ongoing. Oliver found his daughter in the ER at UC Medical Center. “I wanted to fight her and hug her at the same time,” she laughed. “I was so glad it wasn’t worse than it was. She could have been one of those young men who died.” The bullet was removed from Williams’ arm about a month after the shooting. She still has a scar. Her mother said she was depressed immediately after the shooting, but the counseling helped her considerably. Williams said she no longer liked the sound of fireworks or loud noises. She also said she learned to be more aware of her surroundings and understood how quickly chaos can happen. “If you have a bad feeling, don’t ignore it, because your gut feelings are always good and they’re going to point you in the right direction,” she said. “Going against your intuition can sometimes be fatal.”

A teenager shot dead at a 4th of July celebration at The Banks a year ago says her life has returned to normal in many ways.

She is still working to overcome the trauma of what she experienced in July 2021.

Brooke Williams, 17, is preparing to enter her senior year of high school.

She looks forward to prom, visiting colleges, cheerleading, and performing with her competitive dance team.

His mother Catrina Oliver is an emergency nurse at a local trauma center. She knows very well how violent and deadly gunshot wounds can be.

Now she understands emotional trauma on a different level.

“Every time I see someone lose their life, it’s hard not to think that it could have been my child. It was a call I never wanted to receive and I got it,” said said Oliver.

The July 4 call informed her that her daughter, her only child, had been shot dead.

Oliver said she warned her daughter not to go to the Banks that night, fearing a shooting might occur.

RELATED:

Williams went to see a movie in Newport with some friends, then walked across the bridge to the Banks.

She said she heard people fighting and stayed to watch what happened next.

“I haven’t seen people fight, like, use their hands in years. So that was kind of like a red flag,” Williams said.

Gunshots rang out as fireworks were set off. At first, Williams didn’t realize someone was shooting.

Then people started running.

“I just looked down and it turned out there was a hole in my arm,” Williams said.

She was one of five teenage girls shot dead.

Only three, all believed to be bystanders, survived.

At the time, Cincinnati police said the two deceased young men were the shooters.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Oliver found his daughter in the ER at UC Medical Center.

“I wanted to fight her and hug her at the same time,” she laughed. “I was so glad it wasn’t worse than it was. She could have been one of those young men who died.”

The bullet was removed from Williams’ arm about a month after the shooting.

She still has a scar.

Her mother said she was depressed immediately after the shooting, but the counseling helped her a lot.

Williams said she no longer liked the sound of fireworks or loud noises.

She also said she learned to be more aware of her surroundings and understood how quickly chaos can happen.

“If you have a bad feeling, don’t ignore it, because your gut feelings are always good and they’re going to point you in the right direction,” she said. “Going against your intuition can sometimes be fatal.”

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