2 dead, including 4-year-old girl, after shots fired into crowd, Akron police say

Published: Jul. 9, 2022 at 7:09 AM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - An Akron police spokesperson said investigators are searching for the suspect(s) who killed two people, including a 4-year-old girl, Friday night during a shooting.

According to police, shots were fired at a celebratory gathering around 9:15 p.m. in the 700 block of Princeton Street, located near the border of downtown and the Summit Lake neighborhood.

The spokesperson confirmed the victims, a 4-year-old girl and 40-year-old man, have died at local hospitals from their injuries.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victims as 4-year-old Journei Tolbert, of Akron, and 40-year-old Johnny L. Gaiter, of Akron.

Franklin Ragsdale III told 19 News he was good friends with Gaiter.

“He died saving that girl he was trying to save that little girl,” he said.

People had gathered in a parking lot when “one or more unknown suspects” started shooting into the crowd, according to the spokesperson.

Neighbor Ronnie knows this feeling all too well.

“Sad I just lost a daughter two years ago and I’m sad about that and you know it’s just sad for this to happen,” Ronnie added.

Police said the circumstances of the shooting, as well as motive, are unknown.

The spokesperson called the shooting a “senseless tragedy” and said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett and several faith-based leaders are asking for peace and urging the community to come together.

As of Saturday morning, the spokesperson said Akron police have not have any arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Akron police detectives at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip.

You can also call the Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.

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