Some Garfield Hotel guests, including visiting opera artists, considered leaving after violence

Blackwell pays personal visit to hotel, opera

CINCINNATI – Guests at the Garfield Suites Hotel were considering checking out of their rooms Wednesday in wake of the violence outside their windows earlier this week.

Hotel patrons, including opera artists from around the world performing with the Cincinnati Opera, were close to checking out, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told WCPO. After Wednesday afternoon’s police press conference outlining the circumstances surrounding the shootings on back-to-back nights downtown, he met with hotel and opera leaders to reassure them the police are doing everything that they can to ensure the safety of their employees and guests.

Police charged Fonte Williams, 22, of Westwood, in Monday's fatal shooting at Piatt Park downtown, and they believe Williams was also involved in the drive-by shooting that wounded three people at the park Tuesday night, Blackwell said.

“Point blank, people want to leave downtown – we can’t have that, not while I’m in charge,” Blackwell told WCPO.

Blackwell personally delivered two letters to the management of the Garfield Suites Hotel and Cincinnati Opera Wednesday night.

WCPO Insiders may read more about Blackwell's efforts to address safety downtown and what one high-ranking opera official said about the potential departure from Garfield Suites Hotel.

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