CLEVELAND — July 29, 2021 marks four years since 25-year-old Ledarrius ‘Shun’ Howze was killed in the hallway of a building on Spruce Court near West 28th Street and Division Avenue in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. The person responsible for his death has never been identified or arrested.
The fact that his case has never been solved, makes the anniversary of Howze’s death, even more painful for his father Warnell Howze.
The two had a close relationship.
“He was actually my mini-me. He looked just like me,” he said. “He was different. He was genuine. He had a good heart.”
The father-son relationship withstood the distance. Ledarrius grew up in Memphis with his mother but moved to Cleveland when he was 22-years-old to be with his father.
“When he came, it was like I felt like I was complete now, as a human being, as a man, as a father. I felt like I was complete,” said his dad.
Ledarrius made a life for himself in Cleveland. He went to college, graduated and became an electrician. He was planning a wedding with his fiancé and was a father to two little girls.
“Everything was here,” said Howze.
But July 29, 2017 Ledarrius went to help a friend near Spruce Court in the morning. He was shot and killed. His car and gun, which his family said he legally owned, was stolen and later recovered.
“When it happened, it was like something ripped out of my heart, just seeing him laying there,” said Howze.
Howze said it happened in the middle of the day with many witnesses.
“People were talking,” said his dad.
But he said in the passing years since his son’s death, he’s heard less and less from the Cleveland Division of Police.
“I keep calling, keep calling, keep calling, voicemail, after voicemail, after voicemail, no one is calling back,” he said.
Black on Black Crime vice president and community activist Judy Martin hopes that shining a new light on the case will help solve it.
“Families go through so much heartache when they know who did it, and when you don’t know, that adds to the burden, the despair, the rage, the anger, the hurt,” she said. “Somebody knows something, somebody heard something, somebody saw something and it’s time to say something.”
Though, Howze said even an arrest in his son’s case, won’t fill the hole in his heart.
“I blamed myself for the longest, like if I just let him stay in Memphis,” he said. “I try to stay strong because my kids look up to me. I just try to stay strong but just thinking about it hurts,” he said.
But a small tip could be the missing puzzle piece to bring peace to a family that is in pain.
“When you talk about taking somebody’s life for no reason at all, that’s not snitching. What if it happened to your family member would you want somebody to get you some justice?” asked Howze.
News 5 reached out to a spokesperson for Cleveland police for an update on Ledarrius Howze’s case, but have not heard back. If you know anything, call the Cleveland Police Department.