Following the killing of fifth-year Ohio State student Chase Meola Sunday morning, false allegations of gang-related retaliation and activity started to spread on social media and private message groups.
Columbus Police has found no credible evidence that Kintie Mitchell Jr., who was charged with shooting and killing Meola, had any connection to a gang. There is also no evidence that any gang is planning retaliation against the fraternity members, public information officer Sgt. James Fuqua said.
In a statement, Tuesday, Ohio State Director of Public Safety Monica Moll said, “neither The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) nor Columbus Police has received any credible or substantiated reports of retaliatory gang activity in our student neighborhoods.”
When police arrived on the scene Sunday near a fraternity house by East 14th and Indianola Avenues, they took witness statements, which led to the immediate arrest of Mitchell who was still in the area, Fuqua said.
A video of a drive-by shooting also circulated with the claim it was taken from a house near East 13th and Indianola avenues. Fuqua said this incident did not occur in that area. No incident report was filed by Columbus Police for this event in the university area.
The houses in the video also do not match any houses on East 13th Avenue.
Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson announced in an email Monday that police patrols in the off-campus area increased following Meola’s death. University spokesperson Ben Johnson said the increase in patrol is in direct response to the shooting.
Those with information about the shooting can contact Detective Kathy Zimmer directly by calling 614-645-4192 or by emailing photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.
People with questions about safety in the area should call 614-645-4545 to speak with a Columbus Police officer.