US Marshals arrest three men, 19, 20, and 21, who allegedly beat boy, 17, to death in car park of LeBron James-founded high school in Ohio, following altercation on basketball court
Ethan Liming was beaten to death in the car park of a LeBron James-founded high school in Ohio on June 2
US Marshals arrest three men, 19, 20, and 21, over death of the teenager
US Marshals arrested three men, 19, 20, and 21, over death of Liming, 17, outside of LeBron James-founded I Promise High School in Akron
Deshawn Stafford, 20, Tyler Stafford, 19, and Donovon Jones, 21, were arrested over the weekend in their Akron homes
The teen’s death stemmed from an altercation that happened on the basketball court at a LeBron James-founded school
Teens in the victim’s vehicle were shooting SplatRBall Water Bead Blaster and then appeared to approach another group on the basketball court at the school
An altercation broke out and the teens fired the soft gel gun at the group
Cops said the death was not racially motivated, furthermore that Ethan and his friends ‘unfortunately provoked the altercation.’
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested three men accused of fatally beating a 17-year-old boy outside the high school founded by LeBron James during a fight provoked by a toy gun.
The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force tracked down Deshawn Stafford, 20, Tyler Stafford, 19, and Donovon Jones, 21, and arrested them on an Akron Police Department Warrant for the death of high school football player Ethan Liming on the basketball courts near the I Promise School on June 2.
Liming and a group of friends were joy-riding in a car and apparently provoked the fight with the three men by shooting at them with a plastic Splatrball Water Bead Blaster.
Deshawn and Tyler Stafford, who live together in the 500 block of North Howard Street in Akron, Ohio, were arrested by the Marshals and police. The third suspect, Donovan Jones was captured separately in the 200 block of Crosby Street, also in Akron.
‘I am happy to report that today, officers with the Akron Police Department, made several arrests in connection with the death of Ethan Liming,’ Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said.
‘We thank the members of the community for their outpouring of support that helped investigators throughout this investigation. We will continue to follow any leads that will result in bringing those responsible for Ethan’s death to justice.
‘While I believe the news of the arrests will be welcomed by Ethan’s family and loved ones, we all recognize that nothing will bring Ethan back. Violence in this country must stop. We are losing too many lives to senseless acts of violence.’
The fight between the men and Liming began when the boys were riding around in a car on Saturday night with the toy gun. One of the boys reportedly shot at the basketball court where the three men where playing a game with others.
The shooting caused some on the court to run away and, according to the chief, the boys chased after them temporarily. The boys went back to their car at which time they were confronted by the three men. ‘A fight ensues and subsequently, Ethan Liming is dead,’ the chief said at a press conference.
Addressing the death of his son, Bill Liming said that Ethan was sucker punched during the fight. Bill Liming suggested his son’s death was borne out of the racial tension that’s been on the rise in recent times.
‘He was fighting back for his life,’ the dad said. ‘A third individual came up behind him and overwhelmed him. And they knocked him out on the ground. His friends tried to help him.’
According to the father, Ethan’s friends tried unsuccessfully, to drive the other group away: ‘My son Ethan Liming was murdered by three African American males and a female who stood by and did nothing,’ Bill Liming said adding, ‘We live in a sick world. People look at each other based on the color of skin or the fact somebody disagrees with somebody else. And because you disagree with me you must be evil.
‘We have so dehumanized each other in our society, that’s why my son was murdered.
‘Some people looked at him as somebody whose life didn’t matter. And it just breaks our hearts. And we don’t want this to happen to anybody else’s child.’
After the arrests, Jennifer Liming, said that she hopes that her son’s death will cause people to think before they react to anger. ‘I just hope when people are feeling angry at somebody for something they did to them, they just take a breath and think for a second. Think about my son.’
Police have said that the death was not racially motivated and that the boys ‘unfortunately provoked the altercation.’
‘There were assumptions made that this was a race-related incident,’ the police chief said at the presser. ‘There is nothing that we have in our possession right now, any information at all, indicating that race played a role in this homicide.
‘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.’
The Marshals Service vowed to continue to help police on the case: ‘The U.S. Marshals Service will continue to provide all necessary resources to help our partners at the Akron Police Department to combat violent crime,’ Pete Elliott said.
‘This crime impacted an entire community and we stand alongside the community in seeking justice for Ethan.’
Liming, who will be buried on June 17, did not attend the I Promise school. He would have been a senior next year at the Firestone High School where he played football, basketball and baseball, according to his obituary.
‘He was a loyal friend, always helping those in need,’ the memorial said. ‘Ethan didn’t care about the color of your skin or the money in your pocket – he cared about what was in your heart.’
After the death, the LeBron James Family Foundation shared the following statement on social media expressing condolences:
‘Our community is everything to us. We were devastated to learn of the overnight incident that saw a life lost near our school. We are grieving with our community over another senseless act of violence. Our campus is safe and secure as we continue to do everything we can to support our students, families, and the entire Akron community.’
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