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Columbus police identify 15-year-old boy as Easton Town Center shooting victim

Empty Easton Town Center is virtually abandoned with all stores closed  due to the COVID-19 pandemic
David Holm

Columbus police identified 15-year-old Ra'shawyn A. Carter as the victim of a Sunday evening shooting at Easton Town Center.

Police said in a news release that Carter was pronounced at Mount Carmel East Hospital at 6:50 p.m. The release said the Frankin County Coroner will have more information available once its autopsy report is completed.

A 13-year-old boy is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Carter and another 13 -year-old boy is charged with obstruction of justice in the case, Columbus police said on Monday.

Details on what led up to the shooting have not been released, but Columbus police believe the shooting was an "isolated incident." The shooting occurred around 6:14 p.m. near the AMC movie theatre and Jeni's Ice Cream.

Columbus police said within a minute, an officer at the mall located the victim and began rendering aid.

Columbus City Schools spokesperson Jacqueline Bryant confirmed Carter and the two suspects are all students in the district but declined to identify which schools or grade levels they are in due to student privacy laws.

Bryant said counseling services will be available to students including the district's CARE Team and Wellness Team. She said this is available to support students and staff experiencing sadness or anxiety at this news of a classmates passing and help them understand their emotions better throughout the days ahead.

Following the shooting Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said parents need to be engaged to help keep the city safer.

"Know where your kids are and who they're with and if they're involved with any violent activities. Do they have firearms? Go through their backpacks. Go through their rooms. We need you to be fully engaged in helping to keep your kids and our city safe. This is why it's so important for the parents in our community to step up," the mayor said.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.