Ohio authorities have released new insight into the possible motive behind a deadly mass shooting at a sex-reveal party last month

By Harriet Sokmensuer
August 24, 2017 08:35 PM

Ohio authorities have released new insight into the possible motive behind a deadly mass shooting at a sex-reveal party last month that wounded eight attendees and killed one, multiple news outlets report.

According to Colerain Township, Ohio, police, investigators have uncovered multiple connections between those at the July 8 party and three different drug rings, the Associated Press and CBS News report.

The findings could lead to arrests in the future, not only related to the shooting but also other ongoing investigations, according to local TV station WXIX.

Police said July’s violence was “in no way” random, WXIX reports.

Police have not pressed charges or named any suspects in the shooting, and a spokesman could not be reached for comment. Their investigation is ongoing.

The new information comes three weeks after authorities announced they were having difficulty investigating the shooting due to a lack of cooperation. But police say they are not deterred and reportedly expect future arrests — despite “significant resistance” from victims and witnesses since the beginning, TV station KWYC reports.

Multiple future arrests are expected, police said, according to the AP and CBS.

Soon after the shooting, the host of the party, Cheyanne Willis, told local media she had lost her unborn son as a result of her injuries. Days later, however, police revealed that the 21-year-old was never pregnant to begin with.

Willis was one of nine people shot at her party when, according to authorities, two people opened fire on the group as they watched a movie. A relative of Willis’, 21-year-old Autumn Garrett, was killed.

Garrett, of Huntington, Indiana, was found dead at the scene when police arrived after the shooting. She had been shot multiple times.

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In an interview with PEOPLE days before the police announcement of Willis’ fabricated pregnancy, Willis’ sister, Amber White, said Willis was “excited” to be a mother.

“She had a miscarriage right before and she’s been wanting a child,” White, a mother herself, said. “She’s a great aunt.”

White attended the party but left before the shooting began, she said. When asked how Willis was doing after ostensibly losing her baby, White said she was “devastated.”

As police explained in their decision to publicly announce Willis’ lie: “That information [regarding Willis’ pregnancy] is not provided to embarrass anyone, only to provide a fair understanding of the challenges we have faced in the past nine days.

“The Colerain Police Department will not comment further on any other misleading information, other than to say we wish our time had been spent on true leads that would help us remove these dangerous criminals from the streets.”

Willis and her family could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help Garrett’s family after her death.

Anyone with information is urged to call police at 513-321-COPS or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.