AKRON, Ohio — An 18-year-old woman has died after she was shot multiple times while inside a vehicle in Akron Sunday, according to a release from the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Akron Police Department.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, Akron officials announced a $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and indictment for the person or persons responsible for the shooting death of Na'kia Crawford. Read more here.
On Sunday at around 1:25 p.m., police responded to an area just north of downtown, at the intersection of North Howard Street and West North Street for a shooting.
Officers found the 18-year-old victim, identified by the medical examiner as Na'Kia Crawford, inside the vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.
Crawford was transported to Akron City hospital where she later died from her injuries on Monday at around 1:12 a.m. Her grandmother, who was not injured, was in the car with her at the time of the shooting.
Officers recovered shell casings from the scene. No arrests have been made.
Akron police Lt. Michael Miller said the 18-year-old was the only person shot in the incident. He said there have not been any related random shootings in the North Akron area despite social media rumors. Miller said at this point, it appears to be an unfounded rumor circulating on social media.
Family and friends of Crawford gathered Monday at the intersection of where she was killed to demand justice.
Crawford was a 2020 graduate of North High School in Akron. Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said in a statement that this is the second student in a week to die from gun violence.
Our children hold the promise of tomorrow inside themselves. We never know what each child may carry that will end up benefiting society or helping others. But waiting and watching as children grow into adults and begin to make a difference in the world around them is exciting to see.
We will never know what Na'Kia Crawford might have done in or after college. She is our second student in a week to die a violent death. The flame of her candle went out way too early. To make it to her high school graduation, with plans for her future, especially during this difficult time of COVID-19, just stings that much more. The heartache is real for those of us left behind to pick up the pieces.
All of us at Akron Public Schools are feeling the loss of this young woman as we do when -- all too often it seems -- children's lives are taken.
We pray for Na’Kia and her entire family, her fellow students at North High School, and the teachers and staff there as well. We offer our support to them in any way that is possible. What a terrible loss.
Akron Public Schools is offering support for grieving students and families. We ask those who need support in the wake of the death of Na'Kia Crawford to call North High School at 330.761.2665 to arrange for grief counseling.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has issued the following statement on the death of Na’kia Crawford:
“Na’kia Crawford was a young woman who deserved a life and a future. She was a recent high school graduate, preparing to start the next chapter of her story at Central State University. Her senseless murder is devastating, not only to her family and friends, but to the entire Akron community. I spoke with Nakia’s father and uncle, who I know, early this morning, and my heart truly goes out to all Na’kia’s loved ones in this time of incredible grief and pain. These events are extremely real and important to me and to the Akron Police detectives investigating Na’kia’s death,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said.
“I feel that it is essential to say clearly and loudly: Black lives matter. Nakia Crawford’s life mattered.”
Police are collecting all relevant evidence and are actively investigating this shooting, according to Horrigan.
Horrigan said in general the city of Akron traffic cameras don't record any video as they only transmit real-time traffic data. The City of Akron does not deploy red light cameras, and speed zone cameras are only used within school zones during school hours.
Police are following up on reports that the shooter was a white male traveling in a black sports car with tinted windows.
Akron police released images of a vehicle that detectives believe may have been involved in the homicide.
Anyone with information regarding the incident or the vehicle shown above is asked to call police at 330-375-2490.