Ohio neighborhood coming to grips with murder of 12-year-old girl as teen faces charges

Keegan Mummey (Courtesy, Licking Couny Sheriff's Department)

NEWARK, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — A community in Ohio where a 12-year-old girl was gunned down Friday night says the crime is an unwelcome rarity, for a neighborhood that's hardly changed in decades.

Isabella Barnes was shot on her family's front porch and pronounced dead at Licking Memorial Hospital, according to Newark Police. Keegan Mummey, 18, was captured and arrested for the shooting late Friday night. Mummey has been charged with aggravated murder.

Neighbors said they often saw the girl around the home, which they said belongs to her grandmother. Barnes and several other children often walked or played in the neighborhood. "We used to see the kids playing right there on the porch, we’d be in the front yard and they’d be in the backyard," said Shawn Allen, who lives two doors away. "It’s a shame."

Allen did not hear the gunshots but says he noticed police lights and crime tape outside, and later saw an ambulance race away from the home.

Across the street from the crime scene, David McCann was inside his home of 43 years but heard what he called a "loud bang."

"We were sure it was a gunshot," McCann said. "We were at the front door, looked across the street and saw what had happened...a person on the cement stoop, and another person was over her." McCann says in his time, only one other violent crime has occurred on Ridgelawn Avenue — and that was in the 1970s.

"It's just a big shock to the neighborhood," he said.

Police are still looking for the suspect's gun, and ask anyone who finds a loose firearm on the west side of Newark or points south should not touch it, but rather report it to 911 dispatchers.

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