CLEVELAND — Police are still investigating a fatal shooting after an 11-year-old boy was shot and killed in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood while he was attending a birthday party Saturday night.
The shooting occurred in the 1800 block of East 97th Street near Chester Avenue around 9:30 p.m., authorities said.
EMS transported the child, later identified as Tyshaun Taylor, to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The resident of the apartment told police that she had allowed her 16-year-old son to host a birthday party. She said she had left to go to a nearby store when the shooting happened.
According to Councilman Basheer Jones, who represents Ward 7 on Cleveland City Council, Tyshaun was a student in the East Cleveland school district. He said he planned to meet with Tyshaun’s family on Monday afternoon to find out what they needed and how he and people in Ward 7 could help.
"The mom, as any mom out there can imagine, is going through tremendous, tremendous loss, tremendous pain,” Jones said.
Jones said Tyshaun’s family members and teachers had reached out to him and described Tyshaun as a beautiful young person.
“They just spoke about how beautiful of a young person he was, how he was always smiling,” Jones said. “And it’s very rare, you know, growing up in our community where sometimes it’s hard to find things to smile at, especially situations like this. So they said that his smile could light up a room and they just say to me over and over that ‘we’re gonna miss that smile.’”
Jones said the city and community needed to be there not just for the funeral, but afterward to help deal with the trauma that results.
“There’s a lot of hurt and pain in communities,” Jones said. “You have people who are walking around who are dealing with mental health issues, who are dealing with serious trauma. Even myself. I’m a grown man dealing with little boy pains, growing up in a neighborhood where I didn’t have my dad, dealing with eviction, dealing with hunger, and so many people that are like me who don’t know how to deal with that pain.”
Of the children who may have seen what happened to Tyshaun and may be traumatized, Jones encouraged them to reach out.
“We want to find you, we want to help you, and for every other child that’s out here. Tere’s a beautiful quote that said, ’It’s better to build a child than to repair an adult.’ We have a lot of broken adults,” Jones said. “So for everyone out there, every child, every adult, don’t just feel like you’re okay. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to go through those different range of emotions. But find somebody that you can talk to, find somebody that can help provide some services for you, whether that’s therapy, whether that’s mental, whether that’s emotional, whether it’s physical, whatever it is, cause the worst thing you can do is act like it [doesn’t] hurt because you end up hurting others.”
Before Tyshaun’s death, ten children ages 17 or younger had already died by homicide in 2019 in the city of Cleveland.
Among those were Aubree Stone, 2, and Armond Johnson, Jr., 6, who died in July from carbon monoxide inhalation from an apparent arson fire inside a Slavic Village House where two adults were also killed.
In October, Lyric Lawson, 6, died after she was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting.
On Halloween night, Jason Mitchell, 16, died after he was shot at an abandoned house on Durkee Avenue.
Councilman Basheer Jones said that while it was easy to put situations like Tyshaun’s death in a box for those not directly affected by them, deaths like these affect everyone.
"I want every person to know that every life that we lose, in whatever shape or form, whether its at birth, whether it’s a child, whether it’s an elder, it affects every last one of us,” Jones said. “Whether you’re on the East Side, West Side of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, America, the world. Anytime someone loses their life, we’re all affected by it."
Jones, a father himself, said he grieves for the pain of Tyshaun’s family.
"It hurts my heart to think that a mother let her son go to a party, not knowing that this was the last time that she would ever see her son,” Jones said. “Tell your children that you love them every single day. Don’t let them leave your sight without them knowing that they are loved."
No arrests have been made at this time in connection with Tyshaun Taylor’s death.
The shooting remains under investigation.
At the time of the shooting, the child was reported to be a 10-year-old boy by Cleveland authorities. His age has been updated.