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1 dead, 1 critically hurt in Akron shooting at informal car meeting

WOIO Cleveland logo WOIO Cleveland 7/19/2021 Jim Nelson
a person riding a skateboard up the side of a road: A woman stands near the spot where her nephew was killed in Akron © Provided by WOIO Cleveland A woman stands near the spot where her nephew was killed in Akron

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Police are investigating a deadly shooting at a so-called car meet in a crowded Akron parking lot.

Police said they received reports that there were up to 100 people and as many as 50 cars at the informal event in front of Hawkins Plaza.

The department said there were also reports of drag racing and reckless driving.

As they responded to the area, officers heard gunshots.

They later learned two people were dropped off at a nearby hospital; a 23-year-old was pronounced dead and a 17-year-old was admitted with critical injuries.

“My family is trying to hold up,” said Lynetta Reed, who told 19 News her nephew was the victim who died. “His mother is taking it hard. It’s my brother’s son, he’s taking it hard. I just saw my nephew on Friday.”

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

A pedestrian who was walking by the scene on Monday told 19 News he heard about the meetup on social media, but did not attend.

Throughout the summer, similar informal car meetings have also resulted in police investigations, mostly for driving-related offenses.

“In situations like that, things can escalate very quickly,” said Akron Police Lt. Mike Miller. “We saw it play out here in this case here in the worst way.”

No arrests have been made as of early Monday evening and police said they were not aware of any motive.

“Even if we knew why, it wouldn’t make any sense. It’s senseless,” Miller said. “It’s another tragic incident”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip, the Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS or by texting TIPSCO to 274637.

Callers can remain anonymous.

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