‘A loss for words’: Akron police asking community for help in finding 8-year-old’s killer

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AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Detectives are hoping someone will come forward with information on a shooting that killed 8-year-old Mikayla Pickett Friday night.

“You don’t have to be impacted directly by the violence to care about what happened,” said Lt. Michael Miller, a spokesperson for the Akron Police Department.

Police received multiple calls of gunshots and arrived on the 700 block of Roselle Ave just before midnight.

Police say there was a large gathering of teens at the home before the shooting started, possibly a birthday party.

A cousin told us they were there and ducked behind bushes during the shooting. A neighbor said a bullet when through their house, lodging above their child’s bed. Police believe multiple shots were fired from outside the home.

(Alex Stokes/WJW)

“She was outside in the backyard of that particular residence when she was shot.”

Miller said Mickayla was shot in the back. She passed away at Akron Children’s Hospital.

“You’re at a loss for words when people like that are impacted, families of victims that young are impacted,” Miller said of this investigation and others with similar circumstances. “We’ve seen an uptick with violent crime involving children.”

Mikayla’s death is the 31st homicide police are investigating this year. “We have six this year that were under the age of 19.” Miller said that’s six too many.

“We want the community to know that we understand. We’re aware of it and we’re attacking that gradually every day.”

Police are looking for one or more suspects involved. “We don’t think that the immediate community surrounding the incident is in any particular danger but with respect to someone that would do a crime like this there’s always a risk and a concern until they’re captured.”

They are asking the community to rally and help them with the investigation. “There’s a line. And the line is drawn around the sanctity and the purity of children. This was an 8-year-old. We need someone who knows something to please say something.”

A spokesperson with Akron Public Schools confirmed to FOX 8 that Pickett was a student at Portage Path Community Learning Center.

Those who know anything that could help with this investigation are asked to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at (330) 375-2490 or (330) 375-2TIP. You can also call Summit County Crimestoppers at (330) 434-COPS.

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