Police investigate party bus shooting on I-77

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COPLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) — Police are investigating after multiple vehicles were shot at and two people suffered gunshot wounds while traveling on Interstate 77 near state Route 21 in Copley on June 25.

At about 10:30 p.m., officers say they responded to the scene after a report that multiple vehicles were shot including a party bus and two victims in it.

Twenty people were heading from Akron to a party in Cleveland when a car pulled alongside the bus and two or more gunmen opened fire on the vehicle.

A man was shot in the right ankle and another man suffered gunshot wounds to his head, left arm and left leg, according to police.

“I felt the glass hitting my face and it sounded like rocks were being thrown at the windows. I was just very scared, you know and seeing all the blood everywhere and people crying and screaming,” one of the passengers on board the bus told FOX 8.

Officers said a gray Toyota Highlander following behind was also hit with multiple bullets on Medina Road near I-77 and its passengers were not injured.

A stray bullet shot out the window of a Jeep Liberty as the driver was traveling along I-77 north, according to police. There is no report of any injuries to the woman who was driving.

Police said none of the witnesses on the bus were able to provide names of possible suspects or a description of the vehicle.

Approximately 50 fired 9mm shell casings, along with several projectiles and projectile fragments, were recovered in the area between S. Cleveland-Massillon Road and SR-21, officers say.

“We believe there might have been another bus that was supposed to leave the Akron area about that time and that this bus was mistaken for that bus, because these folks on this bus were just out to enjoy a night on the town,” Chief Michael Mier said.

Police said they believe the terrifying crime may be related to a recent series of shootings along I-77 that they suspect are related to a turf war between competing street gangs.

“The problem is we’re seeing too much of this type of activity where folks are willing to shoot at each other with a total disregard for other person’s safety and life, the thing that always worries me is if two groups are battling it out, and they were to shoot at each other, that they might strike an innocent bystander and that’s my biggest fear,” Mier said.

Police said both the men shot on the party bus are in stable condition.

Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to call Copley police.

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