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Man shot in head while sitting on park bench in Akron

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A 58-year-old man died after he was shot in the head while sitting on a park bench Saturday, Akron police said.

Akron police said they arrived at Grace Park, located at 201 Park Street, around 4:55 p.m. Saturday for a possible shooting.

Officers found Randall Lee Proctor, of Akron, lying on the ground with a gunshot wound in his head.

Police said Proctor was sitting on a bench when an unknown person came up and shot him from behind.

Proctor was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead about 15 minutes after he was found, the Summit County Medical Examiner said.

Police said the suspect ran away after the shooting.

19 News has learned the victim was homeless and he was staying at Haven of Rest just across the street from Grace Park. Witnesses say he was sitting on a park bench alone when out of nowhere another man came up behind him and shot him.

Mark Union is homeless. For the past month he’s been living at Haven of Rest in Akron. He said he was at the park Saturday when the shooting happened.

“I decided to come over and say hi to him okay I didn’t see nobody,” Union recalled. “This guy came out of nowhere. He came out the side, coming through the back. We thought he was gonna pat him on the back, turn around took the gun, popped the gun up like this, came down, bam!”

Police described the suspect as 25-30 years old, about 5′9″ to 6′ tall, and with short black hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt, black pants and white shoes at the time of the shooting.

“I know what happened from the sound,” a 911 caller said. “Your victim is slumped right here and there was someone who looked exactly like a perpetrator running as fast as he could north.”

Akron police believe this shooting was random and unprovoked.

Proctor was the 21st person to be murdered in 2021. In 2020, 50 people were murdered in Akron. Lieutenant Michael Miller says many cities across the country have seen an uptick in homicides. He says it could be partially related to the pandemic, but there are a lot of other factors including illegal access to weapons.

Union knew the victim because they both lived at the shelter together.

“Well, he’s real nice,” Union said of Proctor. “He’s real nice. He was in there when I was. He’s a real nice guy. I don’t know why somebody would shoot him. He don’t have no money or nothing.”

CEO of Haven of Rest Ministries Reverend Jeff Kaiser sent 19 News the following statement, “Haven of Rest Ministries mourns over this tragic loss. We had the privilege over the past year to know and work with the man that lost his life. He was currently staying with us. A horrible event like this has both our guests and staff shaken and concerned. We know that having a place that is safe and clean can be hard to come by for a person experiencing homelessness, and that is why we are open every day to serve those in need.”

Police spent Monday afternoon canvassing local businesses to see if the suspect was caught on any surveillance cameras.

Contact Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS if you know anything about the shooting. You can also text your tips to TIPSCO at 274637. You can remain

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