PARMA, Ohio — Parma Police believe a 16-year-old is the person who fatally shot a 17-year-old Tuesday afternoon. The younger teen was taken into custody Wednesday.
The shooting happened on South Park Boulevard., near Liggett Drive around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Police responded to the neighborhood for reports of multiple shots fired and found 17-year-old Lawrence Morgan shot. He was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center and did not survive his injuries.
“This is not how his life should have ended,” Allison Raduluv told News 5 Wednesday, explaining she had been a close friend of Morgan’s since they attended middle school together.
“That’s my everything,” she said of Morgan. “I talked to him 10 minutes before the incident happened. And he was telling me how much he loved me and missed me.”
Another close friend, Jay Dunbar, added, “We did everything together almost. Him and my other brother’s bond was incredible.”
The friends were writing messages on a piece of tagboard taped to a utility pole where Morgan was gunned down. Artificial flowers, a teddy bear, and a single candle filled in the growing memorial.
“I didn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready for this situation,” Raduluv said.
Police said a series of public tips helped lead them to the suspect’s home, less than a block from where the shooting occurred.
“The tips were instrumental. So we want to thank the public because they’re the ones that did step up and speak up,” said Lt. Dan Ciryak.
He explained a group of teens were seen running from the scene, but the sole suspect believed responsible was arrested without incident after police served a search warrant at his home.
Neighbors described their neighborhood as relatively quiet but recalled other violence a block from Tuesday’s homicide.
“About a year ago, there was a standoff at the corner of South Park,” Jacob Black said.
He was referring to a high-speed chase that turned into a 12-hour standoff at a home on South Park Boulevard, near Lucerne Avenue in June 2021. It ended when the suspect fired rounds at police and officers returned fire, fatally shooting the man.
Parma Police acknowledged the city is not immune to the violence many communities are facing but said it is still a safe place to live.
“We’re a bordering city. So when you look at [Cleveland’s] crime rate compared to our crime rate, I think Parma is obviously a much safer city. But I think some of the problems that happen in Cleveland do bleed over to Parma,” Ciryak said.
Friends of victims of violence with any tragedy could be avoided.
“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It shouldn’t have even been a situation,” Raduluv said.
The 16-year-old suspect is awaiting charges in juvenile court. It’s unclear whether his case could be turned over to the adult system.
RELATED: 16-year-old arrested for allegedly shooting, killing 17-year-old in Parma
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