Akron Police Investigate Double Homicide, 6 Other Shootings
AKRON, Ohio—Police in Akron are working to determine if there is any common thread between eight shootings that have left six people dead in the past five days.
The crimes include the city’s second double homicide since Tuesday.
Akron Police Captain Dan Zampelli says officers were called to a home on Grant Street about 8 a.m. Thursday where they found Erica Singleton, 28, and Ernest Thomas, Jr., 31, shot to death in the driveway.
The crime follows by just six hours another shooting at the same address that left Patrick Gangs, 25, hospitalized with what police describe as serious injuries.
Relatives of Singleton and Thomas were gathered outside the house on Thursday comforting one another.
“She was a beautiful girl. Beautiful. She had two beautiful babies that’s going to be left behind,” said Theresa Menter, an aunt of Singleton.
“I just hope they catch the person that did it,” added Janae Lewis, Singleton’s Cousin. “I just hope they catch them and do what they got to do, because this crime got to stop. It’s not worth people’s lives out here.”
Family members say Singleton had been living at a shelter recently, afraid to go to her own home because of threats from a former boyfriend.
“I just had nightmares about this day,” said Taleasha Singleton, the victim’s younger sister. “I had a nightmare I was going to get a phone call, and I got the phone call.”
“All I know is whoever did it, they took my big sister away from me, my big sister. I have no big sister now, nobody to look up to now, they took that from me.”
Relatives of Thomas say they did not believe he had any enemies.
“I thought he get along with everyone,” said Lawanda Carter, Thomas’ cousin. “He was just outgoing. He have children, and he have a baby on the way, so I don’t know why would someone do this to him.”
Relatives say Thomas is the uncle of Gangs, who was shot earlier that same night.
Zampelli tells Fox 8 News that police were aware of the reported threats, but as of Thursday afternoon they were not ruling out any motive for the crime.
At the time of those shootings, detectives were already investigating another murder on the city’s west side that happened late Wednesday.
Tramein Walker, 27, was shot to death in 700 block of Roselle Avenue. Police have issued an aggravated murder warrant for Christopher Meadows, 28, in connection with that shooting.
Neighbor Willie Walker heard the shots and ran out to comfort Walker as he was dying.
“I mean, he shot that boy cold-blooded for no reason,” said Walker. “It don’t make no sense. This killing got to stop. There’s too much killing going on in Akron.”
Police were also still trying to determine a motive and a suspect in a mysterious double homicide on Tuesday.
Sara Scott, 43, of Akron and Donald Golden, 63, of New Philadelphia were found fatally shot in Golden’s home on Mercer Avenue.
A 25-year-old man was also killed on Storer Avenue early Sunday.
“Over the course of five days, we have had eight people shot, six of which have succumbed to those injuries,” said Zampelli. So we have had six homicides, eight shootings in various parts of the city, and that’s another thing we are looking at to see if any of these are tied in together.”
“In recent memory, I can’t remember this many homicides this close together,” Zampelli continued, “so obviously, it’s very alarming.”
Anyone with any information about the crimes is urged to call detectives with the Akron Police Department.