AKRON, Ohio — A $30,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to an arrest and indictment for the beating death of 17-year-old Ethan Liming, a rising senior at Firestone Community Learning Center, near the basketball courts of the I PROMISE School last week.
According to Summit County Crimestoppers, several private donors, who would like to remain anonymous, are offering $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest and indictment of anyone responsible for his death. With the $5,000 reward being offered by Crime Stoppers, the total reward is $30,000.
“We’re hoping someone out there will provide the Akron Police with enough information to get them going in the right direction and help them solve this case as quickly as possible,” said Copley Police Chief Michael Mier, who is on the board of directors at Summit County Crimestoppers.
On the night of June 2, Liming died from blunt force trauma received during a brutal beating at the hands of a group of three males who were playing basketball and engaged Liming and his friends in a fight, Akron police said.
Akron police said before the fight began, Liming and his friends were firing a toy gun that shoots gel beads at the males playing basketball.
Watch Akron police provide more details on the case at a news conference below:
Ethan's father, Bill Liming, said he's not sure if his son was also shooting the toy water gun.
"People have a misconception about what those [water pellet guns] are. They're these little tiny balls that you put in water, and they absorb water. And when you shoot, it's kind of like getting shot by a rubber band gun. It's a toy that you can buy in a toy store, and it puts a little wet spot on your shirt. Apparently, two of his friends were running around the parking lot, just goofing around being teenagers. And perhaps that initiated the altercation. My son should not be murdered and brutally murdered and beaten to death because of a toy," Liming said. "It makes me sick. It makes me sick. To know that my son's life was lost because of that."
He continued, "Whether he was or not, you don't lose your life over a toy gun. And if somebody thought it was a real gun, they wouldn't be alive today. If it was a real gun, they would have been shot. It wasn't a real gun. It was a toy. It was teenagers being teenagers."
Watch more of our interview with Bill Liming and Jennifer Liming below:
Both Bill and Ethan's mother Jennifer Liming are pleading for someone in the community to come forward.
"We just need somebody to help my child," Bill Liming said. "Ethan wanted to become a lawyer, to stand up for people who couldn't fight for themselves. And we need somebody to stand up and fight to help him. We just need somebody to help him. We need something. We know the guys that attacked him were playing basketball on the courts there that night. And so we know that people know who they are. And we just need somebody, somebody, somebody with some courage to step forward and talk to the police, because we are desperate for their help."
Mier added, “In most cases, I think families are looking for some kind of closure. And most families, obviously, are deeply affected and do not want to see any other families go through the same tragedy and would like to see whoever's responsible brought to justice quickly.”
Thursday, Jennifer Liming sent News 5 a statement saying, “I'm very grateful to the donors. Today is a very hard day for me because one week ago today was the last day I saw Ethan alive.”
Tips can be reported to Summit County Crime Stoppers by calling (330) 434-2677 or texting TIPSCO with your tip to: 274637 (CRIMES).
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