What you missed in Columbus for May 24

The city's violent year continues with a mass shooting at Bicentennial Park that left one teen dead and five others wounded

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Crime scene tape surrounds Bicentennial Park in downtown Columbus on Sunday morning, May 23, 2021, as Columbus police investigate a shooting late Saturday night that killed one and injured several others. The small yellow cones all over the stage and surrounding grass areas mark bullet casings and other evidence.

A teenage girl, later identified as 16-year-old Fort Hayes student Olivia Kurtz, was killed in a mass shooting at Bicentennial Park Downtown on Saturday night, the Dispatch reported. Five others ranging in ages 15-19 were also wounded, three of them by gunfire, and are expected to recover. 

The shootings happened during an after-hours party in the park's amphitheater. Police say the event was not permitted or otherwise sanctioned, but it was promoted on social media. Neighbors reported loud music beginning around 9:30 p.m., but most details surrounding the shooting are still unknown.

Saturday's violent incident followed Thursday's fatal shooting of 26-year-old Courtney Bruce, aka Columbus rapper Boog The Bandit, on the East Side. The Dispatch reported that Bruce was in a car with a man when a group of men approached the vehicle and fired several shots. The man drove Bruce to Mount Carmel East, where she died that evening.

Bruce had begun turning heads with her music in 2021, with three new singles, including "Risky," which you can listen to below.

This violent spring isn't unique to Columbus. On Saturday night, Minneapolis dealt with its own mass shooting that left two dead and eight others wounded.

The New York Times looked at the state of growing gun violence across the country a year after the death of George Floyd, which inspired nationwide protests marked by demands for police reform, including calls for decreases in police department budgets and fewer officers on the streets. But the rise in violent crime is "prompting cities whose leaders embraced the values of the movement last year to reassess how far they are willing to go to reimagine public safety and divert money away from the police and toward social services." In Los Angeles, for example, the NYT reports that after city leaders recently took away $150 million from the LAPD, "the city last week agreed to increase the police budget to allow the department to hire about 250 officers. The increase essentially restores the cuts that followed the protests."


In local sports news, Crew attacking midfielder Lucas Zelarayan single-handedly kickstarted the team's struggling offense on Saturday night, scoring two brilliant goals off free kicks — one in the 82nd minute, and another in the final minute of stoppage time — to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 road win over New York City FC.


At age 50, Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major title after taking the top spot at Kiawah Island.