AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A 31-year-old man is dead after he was gunned down in a driveway, police said.
Akron officers responded to the area of 7th Avenue and Weeks Street around 8 a.m. Thursday for a report of a shooting.
Officers said Joel Paul Wells had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“That young man was shot and killed in our neighborhood, a neighborhood I grew up in, just steps away from my parents’ home,” Akron Ward 5 councilperson Tara Samples said.
19 News confirmed that the victim was the brother of former OSU star running back Beanie Wells.
Beanie says Joel was on his way to drop off his daughter at daycare.
He stopped here at his friend’s house to change her diaper.
When he went to get the diaper bag, police say someone shot him to death in the driveway.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Beanie said. “My brother didn’t have any enemies, not that I knew of anyways. He wasn’t one of those guys that was out terrorizing neighborhoods.”
“This is loss of life. Someone is burying their child and to hear that mom, to hear Ms Paulette just scream, the anguish, the hurt that she felt, that will stay with me forever. To watch a fire department come and wash this young man’s blood down the street in front of kids at the beginning of the day that will stay with me forever,” Samples told 19 News.
Beanie and family friends are offering a nearly $30,000 reward, and Summit County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the suspect’s capture.
Wells says he’s doing it for more than just his brother.
He’s worried about all the other Akron families in a similar situation.
“The reason why I wanted to do the reward was not only for him, but so people weren’t afraid to reach out and give tips in this case, but in other cases that are pending and open," Wells said.
Police reported witnesses said they saw a newer, Black Jeep, with tinted windows and temp tags leave the scene and the Summit County Crime Stoppers is offering up an additional $5,000 reward to help catch the shooter.
As usual police are asking the public to step up and speak up to catch a killer.
“The thing about it that concerns me the most is individuals say they didn’t hear anything, they didn’t see anything. I’ve got residents who live blocks away who heard the gun shot. So, if you live on that street saying that you didn’t hear anything, this is not the time for that. We have to get to a point as a community where when we see something, we say something or this is going to continue to happen and it’s continuing daily now,” Traore told 19 News.
Akron police said they have no suspect information at this time and are asking anyone with information to call their detective bureau at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330-434-COPS.
Callers can remain anonymous.