AKRON, Ohio — An Akron family is living in fear, but also speaking out, after a 12-year-old boy was shot while simply walking in an Akron neighborhood.
The shooting happened in the University Park neighborhood early Wednesday morning.
Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, the boy's grandfather, Stanley Wright, gave the child permission to go with other kids and play at a friend's home just a few blocks away on Brown Street.
The children, ages 9 to 12, were told to return to Wright's home around midnight, but as they approached the intersection of Brown and Cross Streets, an unknown male with dreadlocks got out of a small, black car and followed the kids.
The children started running but moments later they heard gunfire.
"And they pointed the gun out and started shooting, and I asked my grandson, 'How many times did they shoot?' He said twice and one of the bullets hit him in the ankle," his family said.
The boy was taken to Akron Children's Hospital for treatment. The bullet remains lodged in his ankle.
His mother, who doesn't want to be identified, said her son will have surgery next week. For his well-being, the mom has temporarily taken her son to a relative's home out of the city of Akron.
"It doesn't make sense for them to target poor little kids walking down the street," she said.
The shooting happened very close to the University of Akron where several students rent homes. The boy's mother pointed out that many young kids also live in the neighborhood and she's counting her blessings the situation didn't end even worse.
"The bullet could have hit him in the head, in his chest somewhere, and he wouldn't be here right now," his mother said.
With the gunman still on the run, Wright is urging anyone with information to call the Akron Police Department.
"It's real scary. They need to be caught," he said.
Police don't have any suspects. The department is considering offering a reward through Summit County Crimestoppers as early as Monday.