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Lawyer: Dead Cincinnati nightclub shooting suspect is victim

A man wounded in a gunbattle at a Cincinnati nightclub that killed his close friend and hurt 16 people was a victim, not the assailant police allege him to be, and his family will fight to clear his name in the wake of his death Tuesday, their attorney said.

Deondre Davis, 29, had been hospitalized and on a ventilator after the shooting at the crowded Cameo club two weekends ago. He died early Tuesday after being taken off life support, attorney Carl Lewis said.

Davis’ relatives don’t believe the father of five young children was responsible for the shooting and blame a “rush to judgment” following the violence, Lewis said.

“Because he has children, the last thing they want to have is that he be remembered by this community as a murder suspect in a horrific shooting,” Lewis told The Associated Press.

A spokeswoman for the Hamilton County prosecutor said the office had no immediate comment after Davis’ death.

The gunfight killed Davis’ good friend O’Bryan Spikes, 27, as they were out celebrating another person’s birthday, Lewis said. He said Davis and Spikes knew the other man charged with murder in the case, 27-year-old Cornell Beckley.

Beckley pleaded not guilty and is being held on a bond of $1.7 million. His attorney, Clyde Bennett II, has called the charge “a product of public outcry, social appeasement and politics” and said Beckley denies the shooting allegation.

Police have said more arrests are possible.

The gunbattle occurred when a dispute escalated into violence while an estimated 200 people were in the club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati, police said. In 911 recordings, one woman pleading for help for a victim said there was “blood everywhere.”

The mayor has said most of the injured were innocent bystanders.

The club has since closed.

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