A west side teen was mistakenly shot dead by his father Tuesday morning and Cincinnati police have put the tragedy into the hands of the Hamilton County prosecutor.
The office of Joe Deters will determine if any criminal charge is warranted in the death of 14 year-old Georta Mack.
Through the day, young people who knew him have tried to console each other. There have been audible moans and cries of anguish and lots of weeping along Blanchard in East Price Hill.
Police say the boy’s father fired, thinking an intruder was in his basement. Then, the realization hit that it was his own flesh and blood.
Mack was supposed to be on his way to school at the time. Police say he snuck back into the basement of the house at 1216 Blanchard.
Hearing a noise and thinking someone had broken in, his father grabbed a 45, telling a 911 dispatcher afterwards he felt startled at the basement steps and fired.
Mack was shot in the neck and mortally wounded.
“These type of tragedies are so horrific, they’re even unimaginable,” a somber Chief Eliot Isaac said hours later.
Courtney Williams knew the teen and related how he found out.
“My dad woke us up. He was basically yelling because my dad knew the little kid, too. He was basically yelling and telling us that the little kid got shot by his dad and he didn’t mean to do it, you know. He just thought he was an intruder.”
The youth was last enrolled at Riverview East Academy last May. He was currently at a court-ordered satellite school.
Friends attached stuffed animals to a utility pole out front today in memory of “Day-Day” as he was known by them.
“He always kept a smile,” Courizma Williams said. “That’s what he was known for. He always was smiling. He was a real good kid. He never done nothin’ to anybody. So, I’m just, I’m really hurt by this.”
When asked about the relationship between father and son, she said, “They had a really close bond. His dad would do anything for him. His dad always wanted to keep him out the streets, keep him from being bad.”
After the shooting, the 911 dispatcher instructed the father to put the gun on the kitchen counter.
It is a tragedy that might remain just that, depending on what the investigation determines.
“We take all that evidence and witness statements and such to the prosecutor and discuss whether or not there’s some culpability on the individual who fired the firearm,” according to Capt. Terri Theetge of the Criminal Investigation Section.
When asked about the tragic result Tuesday, Isaac said, “I think when you talk about firearms in your home, I think that’s an individual choice and it’s certain if you own a firearm you need to be trained.”
Mack was described as the type of kid that always smiled and enjoyed playing basketball with friends on Blanchard where a rim is set up at the curb.
“Pretty cool little kid,” said Courtney Williams.
In the hard hours after a shooting that’s shaken them to the core, young friends of Mack’s can’t believe “little brother” is no longer with them.