AKRON, Ohio — A teenager has been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal shooting that happened on an Akron METRO Bus on Tuesday evening.
The suspect, a 17-year-old male, is charged with aggravated murder, felonious assault carrying a concealed weapon, obstructing official business and misconduct at a public transportation system, police said. Authorities found a handgun in the teen's waistband when he was taken into custody. They believe it's the weapon used in the shooting.
The frightening incident happened around 5 p.m. shortly before a METRO bus was scheduled to start a route to Barberton. The bus driver had not yet boarded when shots rang out, according to METRO officials.
Akron Police Lt. Michael Miller said the incident at the Metro Transit Center on South Broadway Street.
“There was an altercation on the bus and then the shots were fired at that point,” he said.
21-year-old William Howell suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He was transported to the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center where he later died from his injuries Tuesday.
The victim's brother, Dwayne Howell, wants answers and justice.
"It's sad. The boy lived to be 21-years-old and he died young. It didn't have to happen like this," he said. "It's crazy. Us young people are dying too young. The violence needs to stop."
The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Howell's death a homicide.
Miller said there were multiple passengers on the bus at the time of the shooting. No one else was injured.
"Multiple shots were fired on the bus, just the chance of additional people being injured or harmed was extremely high," he said.
Another 17-year-old was taken into custody at the time of the incident but was not charged and later released.
Miller is pleading with the public to put down the guns.
“This is yet another tragic example of the results of poor decisions with a firearm,” he said.
Deputy Mayor for the city of Akron, Marco Sommerville, echoed Miller’s sentiments.
“It’s very frightening to hear that someone would be gunned down in our city in Akron, Ohio, on the bus, by somebody who had a beef with somebody who couldn’t find a way to diffuse the situation and thought the only way to handle it was to shoot them,” said Sommerville.
He said it isn’t the Akron he grew up in and the rise in violence doesn’t represent the city he knows and loves.
“We’ve worked very hard. You look at our downtown, and all the improvements, and all the money that we’ve invested and to have this happen in daylight, not nighttime, daylight, is just something that is unacceptable and something we need to examine what we can do to change this,” he said.
Miller said the police department is working 24/7 to get illegal guns off of the streets, but said there’s only so much police can do, saying it’s a community effort.
“Help us talk to some of the young folks who would otherwise arm themselves with weapons, whether it would be family member or friend, notify us. There are ways they can do that anonymously and we can probably try to prevent a tragic situation from happening if we can engage that person sooner in the process.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip or the the Summit County CrimeStoppers at 330-434-COPS