Ethan Liming was found outside a LeBron James-founded high school on Thursday beaten to death after he apparently drove around with his friends and shot a water gun at people, according to reports.
Police Chief Stephen Mylett hosted a press conference Wednesday afternoon related to the beating death of a teenager last Thursday. Authorities have said that Liming died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Mylett, along with Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, said the purpose of the presser was to clear up any rumors swirling in the community since the incident.
“There were assumptions made that this was a race-related incident,” Mylett said. “There is nothing that we have in our possession right now, any information at all indicating race played a role in this homicide. Nothing. I want to reassure the community, that if we do receive information that race played a role in this, as in any homicide, we will consult with our prosecuting attorneys and add additional charges.”
“Ethan Liming lost his life in a senseless act of violence. Ethan did not deserve to die Saturday night. He did not,” Mylett said in a press conference.
“Shortly after their arrival, they got out of their vehicle, and at least two members of occupants of the vehicle started discharging a, what we know now to be a SPLATRBALL Water Bead Blaster,” Mylett said. “They started discharging it at the direction of four individuals who were playing basketball on the basketball court.”
The individuals playing basketball initially ran away as the two juveniles ran in their direction. Then, the juveniles ran back to their car and were followed by the group of four, Mylett said at the press conference.
“A confrontation occurs. Ethan Liming is assaulted, and a fight ensues. At the conclusion of it, Ethan Liming is dead,” Mylett said.
“The collective actions of the teens in the car appear to have unfortunately provoked the altercation,” Mylett said in a press update on June 8. “While these actions appear to have played a role in the incident, investigators do not believe the attack or the murder were remotely justified.”
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said that Liming’s “senseless and tragic death has touched every person in our community.”
The US Marshals Service revealed that the federal entity’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and Akron Police on Saturday morning arrested Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, Tyler Stafford, 19, and Donovon Jones, 21, at two different residential buildings in Akron.
“This crime impacted an entire community and we stand alongside the community in seeking justice for Ethan,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said in a statement.
“Ethan was everything, he was a good boy, he was a smart boy. He loved life. He loved living life. He wanted to be friends with everybody,” his devastated mother, Jennifer Liming, said Tuesday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. “Ethan didn’t see color, he saw hearts. He was just such a good person.