Ohio Street Party Ends with 25 Shot, 1 Fatally

by Tommy Grant

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When one of the highlighted quotes in an Associated Press news story is “There was a street party in the area before the gunfire broke out and an unnamed witness at the scene said hundreds of people were enjoying themselves with everyone in white T-shirts and ‘women on top of vehicles dancing,” WEWS-TV reported,” the bad news can’t be far behind. We’ve all seen that music video.

That certainly appears to be what played out this weekend when a neighborhood in Akron, Ohio, decided to go “Little Chicago” and grab their own gun-violence headlines. Well, at least one carload of people there sadly did.

Police in Akron report they were called to the scene of a large street party late Saturday night with more than 200 folks milling about. The party dispersed after 5-0 rolled up and chilled the hot party vibes, but after they left, at least 100 people reconvened in the streets. That’s when things got ugly. In the early morning hours of Sunday, a car rolled past the large group of people who had shown back up and started blasting shots in typical drive-by fashion. Police told the AP at least some of the partygoers returned fire.

In the melee, 25 people were shot, two critically, and one, a 27-year-old man, died. Ages of the victims ranged from 19 to 43 years old, Cleveland 19 News reported. Police detectives found more than 35 shell casings and two handguns that had been dropped or tossed. Local hospitals began to flood with gunshot victims, fortunately, most of those were relatively minor and non-life-threatening.

It is still not known if the shooter(s) in the car were part of a rival gang, someone with a beef with someone else at the party, the result of a fight or maybe even a very pissed off neighbor angered at the noise. But the mayor of Akron, Shammas Malik, has vowed the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

“This was a tragic incident which impacts our entire community,” said Mayor Shammas Malik as reported by the AP. “The sheer number of victims is shocking and disconcerting. I want to be very clear: Anyone who was involved in last night’s shooting will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Rewards of up to $22,500 have been made available for information that leads to an arrest. The money was put up by three different agencies: $5,000 from Summit County Crime Stoppers, $7,500 from the U.S. Marshal’s Service and up to $10,000 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Akron officials told the AP.

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