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Parents demand charges after son shot, killed at Akron party

Prosecutors reviewing Oct. 18 incident
Irvin Christian death Akron
Posted at 8:14 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 21:40:25-05

AKRON, Ohio — The family of a 19-year-old man, who was shot and killed at an Akron house party last month, protested outside of the Akron Police Department Friday afternoon and called from criminal charges.

The parents of Irvin Christian, along with other relatives and Pastor Jaland Finney from Second Baptist Church, chanted and held up signs and a large picture of Christian.

"We need to get some closure. We'll never have closure, but we need the truth," said his father, Mark Christian.

The victim's mother, Katrina Lee, said her son was full of life and was always smiling and joking. Lee feels like investigators have been trying to "sweep the case under the rug" and ignoring the family's pleas for justice.

"I call [police] every day, literally every day," Lee said.

Late Friday afternoon, family members did meet with investigators and were told that Summit County prosecutors are reviewing the circumstances leading up to Christian's death.

Family members and police agree Christian went to a party on Sarcee Avenue in the Goodyear Heights neighborhood on Oct. 18.

Lee said Christian got into a physical fight at the gathering with a 21-year-old man who was also a guest. That man pulled out a gun and shot Christian, who died at Summa Akron City Hospital, police said.

"Our son was our child. We're in so much pain and so mad, and we aren't getting answers," Mark Christian said.

The parents are also raising the issue of race because the suspect in the deadly shooting is white.

"If it was the other way around, my son would be in jail while the investigation is going on and not walking around living his life," Lee said.

However, Lt. Michael Miller stressed race is not a factor in the case.

"I can assure you that race or someone's racial demographic will never play a role in any investigation," Miller said.

Miller also said the case is complicated and detectives are still actively investigating the shooting, talking to witnesses and considering all options, including whether this was a possible case of self-defense.

Lee takes issue with any self-defense suggestion.

"How is it self-defense when you're in a fight with somebody and I pull out a gun and shoot him?" Lee asked.

Miller said prosecutors will consider several charges as part of the investigation, including aggravated murder, murder, reckless homicide and negligent homicide.

"That's why they're the experts. They'll determine what charges, if any, would apply,"Miller said.

In the meantime, Christian's family doesn't plan to rest until there's an arrest. Pastor Finney said he will continue to offer his support.

"They have a name and they have not made an arrest," Finney said. "We're here, by the Grace of God, to pull the rug up."

RELATED: Police investigating after 19-year-old shot, killed in Akron's Goodyear Heights neighborhood