Murdered Akron teenager was four months pregnant

Suspect may have been looking for ex-girlfriend

AKRON, Ohio - The Summit County Medical Examiner identified the pregnant, teenaged girl who was shot and killed on Sunday. In addition, Akron police released the name of a 19-year-old woman who was also shot, but survived.

Anna Karam, 16, was found dead early Sunday morning in the living room of an East Archwood Avenue home. Akron police said Karam was four months pregnant. She withdrew from Barberton High School in 2011, according to superintendent Patricia Cleary.

"It was senseless. Everyone loved Anna and Anna loved everyone. The person who shot her was her friend. He killed my baby and he killed my grandbaby," said Patricia Karam, Anna's mother.

Karam's friend, Jessica Halman, 19, of Norton, was found in the kitchen with a gunshot wound to her head. Halman remains hospitalized at Akron General Medical Center. Her condition was critical Sunday, but an update on Monday was not available.

Police say David Stoddard, 24, of Barberton, broke into the Firestone Park home on East Archwood Avenue, shot both girls and then took off around 4 a.m.

In a dramatic 911 call, two people described the situation to a dispatcher, after detailing where Karam was shot.

CALLER: "(Karam's) heart's still beating please hurry. Please hurry, please hurry, please, please. Now, please...Oh my gosh, her (expletive) heart stopped."
DISPATCHER:" Who had the gun?"
CALLER: "I can't tell you until you get here. "

Then the group finds Halman in the kitchen and sheer chaos breaks out until police arrive.

CALLER: "Somebody else was shot in the (expletive) head too. There's blood everywhere...Jessica's still moving and blinking her eyes."

Karam had been living at the home with Jennifer Risten, 21, and Risten's brother, 18-year-old David Nelson, since last February, according to Karam's mother.

Nelson said he had words with Stoddard after he came through a back, sliding glass door. Nelson said he tried to get Stoddard out of the home after he said he had guns.

"He just came in ruthlessly, just started shooting," Nelson said.

Nelson said Stoddard was angry because he couldn't find Risten, his ex-girlfriend, who wasn't home at the time of the shooting.

"I guess he was looking for me is what everybody said. I don't know, and if he came here loaded, that means he was looking to kill me," Risten said.

Nelson said Stoddard tried to kill him too, but a bullet jammed in the chamber and the gun couldn't fire. Nelson saved the bullet after if fell from the gun to the floor.

"He went to fire it again, and I still have the bullet that saved my life... or we wouldn't be here right now," Nelson said.

Hours after the fatal shooting, police tracked Stoddard down at the Legacy Inn on High Street in Wadsworth, where officers burst into his hotel room and arrested him.

Stoddard has been charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault. He appeared in Akron Municipal Court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty. Bond was set at $250,000 cash and Stoddard remains in the Summit County Jail.

Autopsy results on Karam determined she died from a single gunshot wound to her head. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

NewsChannel5 was unable to reach Halman's family for comment on Monday.

"The last we heard, she was in the ICU. She was moving her fingers and she was talking to the doctors and that was last night," Risten said.

Friends of Karam's are organizing a candlelight vigil for 6:30 Monday night at the shooting site, 261 East Archwood Ave. in Akron.

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