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The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Tragedy Strikes Covington: Urgent Questions on Safety and Preventative Measures After shooting in Covington

Connely Brothers Funeral-Home
14 year old Amani Smith

Covington is dealing with the aftermath of a recent shooting that killed 14-year-old Amani Smith. The event happened just one day before the discovery of vague threats on social media, which prompted increased security measures in nearby schools. As the community mourns the loss of a young life, issues about student safety and how to deal with earlier concerns are emerging.

On Tuesday, January 23, the Covington Police Department responded to a shooting near Latonia Christian Church. Two 14-year-olds, identified as Holmes Middle School students, were found with gunshot wounds. Smith was pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, while it has been reported that the other victim, a girl, was hospitalized and survived. The incident has left the community in shock, prompting an outpouring of grief and solidarity.

Law enforcement responded quickly, with a 17-year-old juvenile in jail now facing murder charges in connection with Smith’s death. The investigation is still underway, and Covington police are attempting to identify the individual responsible for the threats on social media. While no particular threat to the school has been verified, officials are treating the issue seriously and underlining the need for increased concern in light of recent events.

Smith’s parents, Buddy Walton and Amber Smith, say the shooting was caused by an altercation involving Smith’s older brother at school. Smith’s mother allegedly expressed concern to the school and the Board of Education about the lack of action taken. This event has highlighted the significance of discussing and resolving problems to avoid incidents like this in the future.

Alvin J. Garrison, the superintendent of Covington Independent Public Schools, issued a statement noting the tragedy’s impact on kids and urging parents to promote open contact with counseling services. As the city mourns, friends and relatives gather at the site of Smith’s death to create a memorial of candles, balloons, crosses, and messages. Family and friends gathered on Wednesday, January 31, to say goodbye to Smith just over a week after his death. His funeral was held at Latonia Christian Church. 

Smith’s death is the second deadly shooting in Covington in less than a week, following the heartbreaking loss of a 2-year-old on Monday, January 22. With no arrests in the previous instance, neighbors are left frightened and looking for answers. Authorities are making an effort to address the underlying issues and prevent additional violence.

These tragic incidents have prompted questions about student safety and the need for preventative steps. Law enforcement’s response gives some responsibility, but further investigation is required to address the true roots of the violence. The neighborhood is mourning and continues to demand answers for a safer future.

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