The incident began to unfold at 6:24 p.m., when officers on patrol along Manchester Road heard gunfire on nearby Longview Avenue, which one longtime resident says is not uncommon.
Dilisa Townsend told FOX 8, “to know there’s going to be children out here and a bullet has no name is scary.”
Once officers reached the 700 block of Longview, they spotted three teenagers in a back yard and at least one of them was armed with a handgun. Investigators say the 16-year-old suspect pointed the gun toward the officers and one of them shot him in the hand. He was placed under arrest, but police say officers administered first aid until a life squad arrived and took the boy to Akron Children’s Hospital.
The latest use of force by Akron Police is now being closely scrutinized, especially because it comes on the heels of the June 27 death of Jayland Walker, who was killed in a hail of bullets fired by eight officers.
When asked about Saturday’s shooting, Dilisa Townsend told us, “for the police officer to say he heard the shot, they came, he saw the gun, he shot. The fact that it wasn’t worse because we know it can be worse, I actually count that as a ‘yea’, because we know it could have gone horribly, horribly wrong.”
The shooting happened behind Townsend’s home, and she believes Akron residents should reserve judgment about whether the police officer was justified in shooting the teen.
“I believe that if anybody is pointing anything at you, you should have the option to retaliate. A lot of people are not going to agree with the fact that I just said that, especially since he was a younger guy, but I also know that our police are in a state of emergency right now,” she said.
Townsend says criminal activity has created fear in the neighborhood she loves, and she credits Akron Police with trying to combat the crime. She says all involved should be relieved that the 16 year old survived.
She added, “also understand that not every cop is bad and not every kid is good.”
Investigators say the officer involved in the shooting is a nine year veteran of the force. He has been placed on paid administrative leave. Detectives say several other guns were recovered at the scene of the shooting. The incident is being investigated by agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.