Suspect Sought in Deadly Akron BIRTHDAY PARTY SHOOTING That Left 1 Dead, 24 Injured


Police searching for a suspect in a mass shooting at a birthday celebration in Akron, Ohio, that killed a 27-year-old man and injured 24 others are concerned about the likelihood of retaliatory violence.

Officers responded to 911 calls shortly after midnight Sunday, reporting bullets fired and many individuals injured in a residential area, according to a statement from the mayor and police chief.

In a Sunday evening press conference, Akron Police Chief Brian Harding stated that the shooting occurred following a “large birthday party” attended by over 200 individuals earlier in the night.

“All incidents of gun violence are tragedies, but the sheer number of victims here is shocking and deeply concerning,” Akron Mayor Shammas Malik said during the news conference.

The shooting is the latest incident in which a celebration in the United States ends in violence. This year alone, bullets have ended sports rallies, family gatherings, religious festivities, parties, and a high school senior’s day off.

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According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 192 mass shootings in the United States this year alone. One of those events, with four or more people hurt, not including the shooter, occurred just hours after the gunfire in Ohio, when a Pennsylvania bar fight resulted in two deaths and seven injuries, according to Allegheny County police.

Following the Akron incident, officers discovered the scene “littered” with spent shot shells that stretched down an entire block, according to the police chief. “Based on the layout of the spent shell (casings) it appears consistent with someone driving by shooting out of car,” Harding stated. “We believe that some individuals at the party may have returned fire based on physical evidence at the scene.”

At least two handguns were seized from the site, but officials discovered shot casings from a variety of weaponry, Harding said. The chief stated that authorities do not know if the shooter or the car were hit by gunfire and are unable to provide a suspect or vehicle description at this time.

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Investigators are also concerned about the risk of reprisal and are working to prevent more violence, Harding stated.

Officials from numerous agencies are offering a total prize of $22,500 for information leading to a suspect’s identification and arrest, according to Malik’s statement on Sunday. Officials confirmed that anyone can share information anonymously.

“We are imploring the community to come forward,” Harding added. “We believe there are people in the community this evening who saw something or know something and we’re asking them to come forward,” he stated. “We believe there were dozens of people at the party at the time of the shooting, and potentially over 100 people who may have witnessed the incident.”

“Even a small detail can help us crack this case and locate the suspect or suspects involved,” the police chief stated.

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Police verified that there were 25 gunshot victims, including the deceased.

Harding said that at least two persons were in critical condition on Sunday evening. Some of the injured were treated in a hospital and then released.

Authorities have not published any identifying information about the guy who was slain or the injured victims, although Harding said they ranged in age from 19 to 43 years old, with the most being in their 30s.

“We know that this country has a gun violence epidemic and that this is the latest in a long line of incidents we’ve seen across the nation,” Malik stated. “The city of Akron and our Akron Police Department remain committed to fighting all violence, especially gun violence.”

“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,” he said, adding that anyone who commits retaliatory violence would also face consequences.

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