AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Police Department has found the car authorities believe may be connected to the double fatal shooting the department announced via Facebook on Sunday. The shooting on July 8 left a 4-year-old girl and a 40-year-old man dead.
Detectives located the vehicle in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday afternoon in the 400 block of Magnolia Avenue, after receiving information from the public.
Akron police recovered the car and no arrests have been made at this time, as detectives are still investigating.
The shooting happened in a parking lot located near the 700 block of Boulevard Street around 9:15 p.m. during a party. Three people opened fire on the attendees and then fled in dark SUV described as a green 2017-2021 model Jeep Compass with damage on the driver's side door.
The child was identified as Journei Tolbert, and the man was identified as Johnny L. Gaiter, both of Akron. The girl was the niece of Jayland Walker's late fiancée, Jay’Meisha Beasley, a family member previously told News 5. Walker was killed by Akron police just a week prior to the the double shooting.
The night of the double homicide, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett made a plea to the community.
“It’s got to stop, it’s got to stop. it’s got to stop. I am proud to stand next to Mayor (Dan) Horrigan and pastors. We have a unified message. it’s got to stop,” Mylett said.
Demetrius Travis, Sr. said there's been a lot of sleepless nights since Journei, his cousin, was shot and killed.
“It broke our spirit. Especially Journei didn't get to live her life. Four years old...never get a chance to go to first grade,” Travis said.
Travis said getting justice for Journei will be difficult when people don’t trust the police and it could be dangerous for those responsible.
“It would be best to turn yourself in. There's this code of conduct in inner city that you get mine I’m going to get more of yours, and I don’t want to see that. That’s not going to bring anyone back,” Travis said.
Anyone with information about the vehicle or shooting is asked to call police detectives at 330-375-2490 or CrimeStoppers at 330-434-COPS. You can also text TIPSCO and your tip to 274637. Tips can be anonymous.
Following the shooting, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan called for the violence in the city to stop. You can watch more from city leaders calling for peace in the player below.
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