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Concern growing over violence in Akron's Copley Road corridor, 56 shootings since 2017

Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 18:18:52-04

There is growing concern over violence in Akron's Copley Road corridor after police responded to two more shootings in less than 24 hours.

Police have not made any arrests in either situation.

Gunfire in the area is nothing new for residents. There have been dozens of other incidents since last year.

Around 11:00 a.m. on October 3, officers responded to Jack's Deli in the 1300 block of Copley Road where a 33-year-old man reported he was chased and assaulted by three males. He was taken to an Akron hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said a 22-year-old man was also shot in the hand during the fight and later walked into an emergency room.

A woman who delivers ice cream happened to be at the store at the time. She was loading a freezer onto a truck and was nearly caught in the crossfire.

The witness, who did not want to be identified, told News 5 she was still startled by what she heard.

"I heard gunshots and it was really, really, really loud, and so I immediately ducked, then I saw people running so I started running," she said.

The witness jumped into her truck and drove away as fast as she could. She was too rattled to report to work the next day.

"My boss told me earlier that he's probably gonna ride with me on the days I have to deliver in that area until I feel more secure."

James Mace, a manager at Jack's Deli, said the shooting had nothing to do with the store.

"What happened yesterday was an isolated incident that resulted from something that was created somewhere else, not here at Jack's Deli," Mace said.

About 14 hours later, Akron police responded to a double shooting on East Avenue near Copley Road.

Two men, ages 19 and 20, suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center.

During a 911 call one woman told an operator, "I heard a lot, a lot of shooting, like a machine gun."

Crime stats requested by News 5 revealed 56 shootings in the Copley Road corridor since January of 2017.

In 24 of the cases, someone was injured.

In July, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed and two other teens were hurt in a drive by shooting on Noah Avenue. Part of the shooting was captured by a surveillance camera on Mr. Pantry.

Councilman Russ Neal, who represents the 4th ward, said he's frustrated by the crime and believes some of the incidents are retaliation shootings.

"It's almost like a modern day Hatfield-McCoy type scenario that unfortunately is just terrorizing the community," Neal said.

Neal said he's asking the police department to seek grants that could pay for more security cameras on neighborhood businesses.

"A lot of these are store owners where it's one or two people that work in the store. They may not have the money to put cameras on stores."

The councilman is also calling on residents to be more vigilant by saying something to police if they see something.

"We can't live in fear. We've got to support those of us that are trying to do the right thing," he said.

Anyone with information on the unsolved shootings is asked to call Akron detectives at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS.