Mass Shooting Rocks America’s Heartland

( – Akron Police in Ohio asked for help from the community following a mass shooting early in the morning on June 2.

A total of 25 people were shot, including 27-year-old Lateris Cook, who died in the incident. Police followed up on initial leads, but no immediate arrests were made. A suspect is being sought in the investigation.

Akron Police Chief Brian Harding said the officers were working day in and day out to make arrests. Democratic Mayor Shammas Malik vowed that anyone linked to the shootings would be held accountable. Officers responded just after midnight to reports of a gunman at the 8th Avenue intersection.

Malik stated that officials were offering a reward of $22,500 for information, which resulted in an arrest. According to local media reports, gunshots erupted as approximately 200 people were enjoying a birthday party. The mayor added that though all shootings were tragic, the sheer number of those injured in the incident was shocking.

Sandy Hook Promise, an organization campaigning to protect children from gun violence, released a statement in response to the attack in Akron. It highlighted a nationwide “epidemic” of gun violence, noting that Ohio lacks laws on gun safety, such as secure storage and background checks. The group’s co-CEO and co-founder Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, said her thoughts were with the families affected by the Ohio shooting and called for safer preventative measures to help ensure that people do not have to live in fear of gun violence.

At the scene of the shooting, police found two handguns and more than 35 bullet casings, some of which came from a rifle. Akron Police stated that the victims were between 19 and 43 years old. According to police, the partygoers dispersed before almost 100 returned to the party at around midnight. Joyoux Payne, one of the partygoers, said that those at the party were just enjoying themselves and dancing when shots suddenly rang out unexpectedly. Investigators believe that the suspect fired at partygoers from a car, prompting some of them to return fire.

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