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79-year-old woman struck by stray bullet near her home in Akron: ‘The violence has to stop’

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AKRON -- Akron police are investigating another shooting where an innocent bystander was struck.

Lt. Rick Edwards says an elderly woman was standing in a driveway near Crosier and Princeton Monday afternoon when she was hit by a stray bullet .

“It appears to be two cars shooting at each other,” said Lt. Edwards. “ 79-year-old woman struck in the side of the head transported to the hospital, treated and released.”

Friday night at around 8 p.m., multiple houses and vehicles were also hit by stray bullets in the 600 block of Mallison Ave.

It’s the latest in a string of shootings in recent weeks where innocent people and/or property have been struck.

“You know they’re using assault rifles they’re using handguns,” said Lt. Edwards. “Obviously, the violence has to stop.”

Police have already beefed up patrols and both the Major Crimes Unit and Gun Violence Reduction Team are investigating.

There have been more than 80 firearms incidents over the last couple months and 29 have been shots fired into habitations.

In late February someone shot at an apartment on Thurmont Road in the middle of the afternoon. No one was physically hurt, and the residents of the apartment have since moved, but the violence could still claim a casualty.

Woodland Preschool is just up the road from where the shooting happened and has thrived there for 54 years, but right after the shooting some parents began pulling their children out of the school and many aren’t re-enrolling for next year.

“The parents felt frightened and rightfully so,” said school director Sarah Restivo. “We are a secondary victim of all of this.”

The nonprofit preschool shares the building with Woodland United Methodist Church and doesn’t have the funds to relocate.

Parents have pulled together and hired an Akron police officer to work as a school resource officer.

Akron police have also significantly increased patrols around the building and in the neighborhood, but their fate remains uncertain.

It’s a heartbreaking reality for many families who have attended the school for generations, says Resitivo, choking back tears. “I don’t think the young adults doing this (shootings) understand the consequences.”

Woodland Pastor Reverend Stephanie Lee says the congregation is also trying to help out and is hoping together with the community, they can keep the neighborhood safe. “It’s always been a wonderful place to be; I’ve always felt safe,” said Rev. Lee.

Anyone with information about the shootings is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490, or 330-375-2TIP, or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330-434-COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous. You can receive a reward if you call or text a tip to Summit County Crimestoppers Inc.

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