Death of 4-year-old boy ruled a homicide

AKRON, Ohio - The Summit County Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a 4-year-old boy, who was shot while inside of a car, a homicide.

A medical examiner completed the autopsy Thursday morning and said Jamarcus Allen died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

It's not clear if the boy picked up the gun and accidentally shot himself or if someone else shot him.

Either way, the medical examiner believes there is clear evidence of negligence, and therefore, made the homicide ruling.

The boy's father, Terrance Allen, 49, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in Akron Municipal Court on Thursday morning.

Allen was charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony child endangering, weapons under disability and tampering with evidence following the fatal shooting.

His bond was set at $500,000.

"He's going through a rough time right now. He seemed very remorseful for what happened. The child died in his care, so he's very sorry about what happened," said his attorney, Rufus Sims.

The body of Jamarcus Allen was located inside of a Ford Taurus on Arlington Street and Davies Avenue around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after the father flagged down a Summit County deputy.

Police tried to question the father about the shooting, but he did not answer questions either at the scene or at the police station.

He was charged late Wednesday afternoon and booked into the Summit County Jail.

A bullet hole was found through the roof of the car above a rear, passenger seat.

Police also located a gun inside of the car.

The boy's cousin, Jasmine Palmer, is among several relatives who believe Terrance Allen should be facing a more serious charge of murder.

"Why would you have a gun in your car for a child to get to it? That's the question. For what reason did you have a gun? Either way it goes, he's still wrong," Palmer said.

Lisa Pardi, injury prevention coordinator at Akron Children's Hospital, said the tragedy should serve as a reminder to store guns properly.

"The firearm should be locked, unloaded, not accessible to children and the ammunition should also be locked in a separate location," Pardi said.

Family members said Jamarcus found the same gun, a little more than a week ago, hidden inside a bathroom wall of their Akron home.

His 18-year-old brother took the gun away from the boy.

The child's mother, Jamella Allen, said Terrance told her it was a laser gun that he bought at a gun show.

She instructed him to get rid of it, but it appears that never happened.




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