Columbus Division of Police detectives are investigating the 96th homicide of the year. Seventeen-year-old Makenzi Ridley was shot outside the Far East Community Center yesterday evening around 8:45pm and died a short time later at Mount Carmel East. Our hearts go out to her family and everyone who loved her. This is an incredible tragedy and we are so very sorry for their loss.
Far East is one of the community centers we partner with. We gave away coats there in December, and one of our Bikes & Badges event was held there last month. That was the event where the little boy stood between two CPD horses and patted them both in delight. Where we gave away the donated Ohio State police bike to a teenage Buckeye fan. Where the community was so excited to receive bikes from officers that they waited outside in the rain for 45 minutes before the event started. This center is loved, and center manager Roger Harper does a wonderful job of connecting to the community. We extend to him and to the neighborhood our condolences as well.
For the past week, we've been working with Zone 2 Safe Streets to plan a block party for Far East, one of several we have in the works. The event will take on new meaning when that day comes--a day to cleanse away the images of the center ringed in crime scene tape and replace them with images of joy. Today, however, we grieve for Makenzi and the Far East neighborhood.