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Attempt to get back stolen dirt bike turns deadly in Akron

Witnesses claim the victim didn't steal the bike
Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 09:46:09-04

A dispute over a stolen dirt bike led to a fatal shooting in Akron Monday night. 

Keith Johnson, 24, of Akron, was killed in the shooting. William M. Knight, 63, of Streetsboro, is now facing charges. 

According to police, the dispute was over a dirt bike that was reported stolen last February. A 40-year-old man said the Yamaha bike was stolen from his unlocked garage on Annapolis Avenue. 

That man later noticed that his bike was up for sale on a social media site. 

He was able to contact the seller, Johnson, via Facebook messenger and meet up with him Monday around 9 p.m. on Danmead Avenue. He brought his wife and Knight, his father-in-law.

Akron Police said the man got into a verbal argument with Johnson over whether the dirt bike was stolen and who owns the bike.

During the altercation, the 40-year-old man grabbed the bike. Johnson then tried to drive off in the direction of the 40-year-old, according to police, but a shooting witness and friend of Johnson's, Brandon Ward, disputed that claim.

“They’re taking somebody else’s word that didn’t even see the whole thing," Ward said Tuesday.

Ward also told News 5 Johnson purchased the bike from a neighbor and did not steal it.

Attempts to reach Knight's family for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

During that altercation, Knight then pulled out a gun and shot the 24-year-old on the bike.

During a 911 call, Knight calmly gave his name and his social security number.

The operator asked, "Did you just shoot the man?" Knight replied, "I had to. He was trying to run into my daughter."

Knight was charged with involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault and booked into the Summit County Jail.

His bond was set at $500,000 during a Tuesday morning arraignment. He's due back in Akron Municipal Court on Wednesday morning.

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