‘Not about being a snitch’: Akron officials continue to ask for information in mass shooting

AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of those responsible for a mass shooting on Sunday has grown to $22,500 with the help of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Twenty-five people were shot shortly after midnight on Sunday as they were attending a birthday party at the home of Darshawn Spragling, also known as ‘Boo Sprag.’

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Former Akron Councilwoman Tara Mosley Weems, who lives nearby, says she has known him well, telling Fox 8 News that he graduated with her daughter and she has learned to expect the party every year.

“It’s uneventful, I mean it’s festive, the young people in the neighborhood they look forward to it and most of them are his, they are family and so a lot of those victims are his immediate family,” she said.

She says it is not likely that Spragling, who owns a towing company, was the intended target.

“He’s a good person, he does a lot for this community, and we know it had nothing to do with him and we just truly believe it’s somebody who does not live in this neighborhood because we all have lived in this neighborhood our entire lives,” said Mosley-Weems.

A doorbell camera on her home captured the chaos that followed the shooting with guests screaming and running past her home while you can easily hear repeated gunfire in the background.

“I was in total shock. I was in shock to think that someone would take it upon themselves to do something like this.” she added.

Police on Monday were aggressively looking through electronic evidence, canvassing the neighborhood and conducting additional interviews trying to identify those responsible.

Investigators from the Akron Police Department along with agents from the ATF were at the Ohio BCI laboratory on Monday using a sophisticated computerized federal network to examine evidence gathered from the scene to help determine if any of the guns involved could have been used in other previous crimes.

Calls to 911 released to Fox 8 on Monday detail the chaos at the scene, where callers describe people laying on the ground. Some of them had been shot in the leg. One caller said he needed medical attention because he had been grazed on his head by one of the bullets. Callers also confirm what police appeared to speculate on Sunday, that the shots were fired from a passing car.

  • (WJW photo)
    (WJW photo)

But one caller said she did not get a good look at the car because she was on the ground.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood where Mosley-Weems says the city has two FLOK cameras, but she tells Fox 8 that many of her neighbors who requested ‘Ring’ cameras through a program developed by the city were turned down.

Also on Monday the Summit County Medical Examiner identified the single fatality as Lateris Cook, 27, who Mosley-Weems believes was among the relatives of the party’s host.

The city continues to ask for anyone with information to come forward.

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“We believe there were dozens of people at the party at the time of the shooting and potentially over 100 people who may have witnessed the incident every single person who may have seen something has an obligation to speak up in order to bring those responsible to justice,” said Akron Police Chief Brian Harding on Sunday.

“This is not about being a snitch, this is about doing the right thing and I would hope that the individuals that did this, that played a part in this, they would turn themselves in instead of having this turn into something that it does not need to turn into,” said Mosley-Weems.

The city is worried that someone might feel tempted to retaliate and warns against that.

“If there is any retaliatory violence committed as a result of this shooting, anyone engaging in that will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law as well,” said Mayor Shammas Malik on Sunday.

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