Northeast Ohio sees crime spill out of multiple car show meetup events

Cities across the country appear to see similar cases
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A car show meetup event turned deadly in Akron on Sunday night, according to police.

This summer, we’ve had similar events get out of hand over and over again across Northeast Ohio.

A viewer sent 19 Investigates video of the latest incident.

We weren’t able to reach the man who took it, but it shows the moment shots were fired at the informal car meetup in the parking lot of Hawkins Plaza.

Lt. Mike Miller with Akron Police says officers were just arriving when the shooting happened.

“They essentially were right there right on the edge of it, close enough to hear the shots being fired,” he said.

Police say a 23-year-old was killed in Sunday night’s shooting, and a 17-year-old is in critical condition.

According to Akron Police and other departments who’ve responded to calls about disruptive, illegal activity spilling out of the car meet-ups, there’s not really a specific location where the related crime is happening the most.

Instead, the problems seem to move up and down the interstate, affecting whatever community the large group decides to gather in.

In May, Parma police were called to Day Drive for crazy drivers.

19 Investigates just learned today that after weeks of looking for him officers arrested Darshon Sabre Norman, and charged him with Failure to Comply with a Police Order. His case will be presented to the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.

There’s also a warrant out for the arrest of Terrance Jamaal Allen Shelton Jr. who police say was driving a green Charger that fled on the same day.

North Olmsted Police say they are still looking for multiple drivers who were doing donuts in the RTA parking lot off Great Northern Boulevard, before fleeing onto 480 and ultimately crashing into a state patrol officer in a construction zone.

By the looks of other recent articles we found, the problem’s not limited to the Northeast Ohio area.

Throughout the course of the pandemic that left parking lots more empty, police in cities across America say they’ve responded to more incidents of street racing and crime spilling out of a car meetup event.

“In situations like that, things can escalate very quickly,” Lt. Miller said. “We [saw] it here play out in the worst way.”

Lt. Miller says there are multiple investigations stemming from what happened at Hawkins Plaza-- the priority is the homicide investigation, but other officers are also trying to find out who organized the event and which people were illegally driving recklessly on private property.

Miller gave 19 Investigates a copy of a flyer investigators found promoting a car meetup this weekend.

But, police don’t know yet if it’s directly related to Sunday night’s event, or who they can hold accountable for all the people that showed up here.

“You cannot tell that from the flyer, in fact, it has no identifying information on it- No email address, no contact information,” Miller said.

That’s what makes it nearly impossible for police to prevent the group from organizing another event in the next city over.

There are no suspects in the recent fatal shooting. If you have information about the crime, call Akron Police.

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