Baby Shower Turns Deadly in Mansfield, Ohio; One Dead, Three Injured

A baby shower in Mansfield, Ohio, turned deadly in the early hours of Sunday when a 25-year-old man was fatally shot and three others were injured. The Mansfield Police Department identified the deceased as Jahajee Cobb, marking the city’s ninth homicide in 2023, according to Bob Ball, the chief investigator for the Richland County Coroner’s Office. This figure includes a prisoner who was killed at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in June.

The Mansfield Police Department has been grappling with an increasing number of homicides, with this being the eighth case they’ve handled this year, the highest in at least a decade. The department’s records show that it dealt with seven homicides in both 2017 and 2018, which were the highest totals since 2012. In 2022, the city recorded six homicides.

The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. at 137 Blymyer Ave. The police were alerted to the situation through 911 calls and the city’s ShotSpotter system, said Assistant Chief Jason Bammann. He explained that an altercation broke out among several attendees at the baby shower, which escalated when some individuals left and returned with firearms.

Bammann described the scene as “chaotic,” with multiple shots fired, resulting in four victims. While Cobb succumbed to his injuries, the other three victims are recovering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. As of Sunday morning, no suspects had been apprehended, and it was believed that there was more than one shooter involved.

The police had to call for backup to manage the crowd that had gathered at the scene, including those who arrived after the shooting. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office and the Mansfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted with crowd control.

Mansfield Police Chief Keith Porch expressed his concern over the incident but admitted that he was not surprised given the recent surge in violence within the city and across the state. He commended his officers for their handling of the chaotic scene and emphasized the urgency of the situation, which required all available detectives to be on deck.

The three injured victims were transported to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. Cobb’s body is scheduled to be taken to Montgomery County for an autopsy on Monday. He was found in the driveway behind the residence and was pronounced dead around 4 a.m. EDT.

The police are appealing to the community for assistance in identifying the suspects involved in the shooting, who reportedly fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle. No children were harmed during the incident.