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Families of victims from murder near University of Akron still looking for answers

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:05 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:23 PM EST
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - The families of 25-year-old Alexander James Beasley and 18-year-old Maya Noelle McFetridge are still looking for answers about the senseless murder of their loved ones at a party near the University of Akron in September.

Akron police said there had been no arrests made at this point, but they’re desperately trying to get at least one of the hundreds of people in attendance at the party to speak up about who pulled out a gun and started shooting into the crowd.

They’re hoping a cell phone video given to Akron Police Detectives will help identify two persons of interest in white t-shirts.

The men that detectives want to question were caught on camera embroiled in a violent fight near Kling and Wheeler Streets. The fight happened shortly before gunshots rang out.

That’s why Akron Police Detectives and the victim’s families have put out a renewed call for help to identify two persons of interest captured in a video shortly before gunshots rang out.

Detective Darren McConnell, who is working the case for the Akron Police Department, says he’s surprised no one has come forward to identify people of interest in the case, “It’s a little surprising how much the video has been pushed in social media and throughout the news in the area that nobody’s identified them yet. We were given some information that the people involved might be from the Cleveland area. It’s definitely frustrating. We want the family to have closure. Obviously, it’s never going to bring Alex or Maya back - but we’re just trying to close the chapter for this and give them a sense of justice for being able to say we know who did it, we know who’s responsible.”

Cheryl Rossbach of Berea is the mother of Maya McFetridge, a University of Akron student who was attending on an arts scholarship, “The last time I talked to her it was my birthday; it was the night she died. She had only been at the college one month. She had always wanted to go to college - go away and stay in a dorm. She had just been there one month and was just starting her life. So, excited about being there. I can’t believe she’s gone.”

Keisha Law of Akron is the mother of Alex Beasley. The 25-year-old attended college for culinary arts initially, but most recently was working in the music industry and living his dream, “He was a beautiful soul, he was a bright, intelligent young man. I miss him; I need him; I miss his text messages and his phone calls.”

According to Akron Police, the large party was just south of the University of Akron campus. There was also a party down the street a short time earlier that was shut down by police, and officers feel some of the people from that party ended up joining the party of college students that were already in session.

A third person was shot and survived his injuries.

Officers were flagged down around 1:20 a.m. about a person waving a gun near Kling and Wheeler streets; police say when they got there, they found three shooting victims. Detectives say McFetridge, Beasley, and a third person were not the intended targets, just in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone shot into a crowd.

‘It’s very cowardly to pick up a gun to shoot it into a crowd aimlessly, senselessly, and murdering two people and wounding one. So, in my mind, I’m like that was a coward move; it wasn’t brave. So, am I expecting too much of this person for them to come forward? Maybe I am? But I expect people who might know something to come forward and say what they know,” Law said.

I want justice served for my daughter. She was such a special young lady, just not replaceable,” Rossbach said about her daughter Maya.

Police said a handgun was recovered near the scene back in September, as well as other evidence.

A $50,000 reward is being offered by the University of Akron and Crime Stoppers of Summit County for a tip that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case. You can remain anonymous.

If you have information about this fatal shooting, contact any of the numbers listed below. Callers can remain anonymous.

Akron Police Department Detective Bureau: 330-375-2490, that phone line is monitored 24 hours a day or 330-375-2Tip. Summit County Crimestoppers: 330-434-COPS. Text a tip to TIPSCO at 274637.

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