Toledo leaders express frustration, pain after 10-year-old’s shooting death
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - On Saturday, just before 1 p.m., police say a suspect drove up to a vehicle on Collingwood near Delaware and opened fire.
Ten-year-old Damia Ezell and 24-year-old Kenneth White were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Ezell later died in the operating room at mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. “I believe the people that did this are despicable. I believe that they deserve whatever karma has for them to take a child’s life is the worst because that child had no parts in anything,” Councilwoman Vanice Williams says.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz tells 13abc that it is a shame to see children pay the price for adults’ irresponsibility. “There is hardly any random gun violence in Toledo if any at all,” Kapszukiewicz says. “What we are seeing is not random, it is literally the opposite of random. It is coordinated retaliation for a lifestyle that probably 200-250 in our city of 275,000 people are engaging in.”
Kapszukiewicz says the city is trying its best to handle the violence that is going on. “The city of Toledo in the last 6 months has directed an incredible amount of resources to fight gun violence,” Kapszukiewicz says. “We are increasing the size of the police force after a decade of decline. I have created the mayor’s initiative on gun violence.”
The mayor says there is only so much officials can do. He believes that Toledo residents need to step up and speak out to make more permanent changes. “At the end of the day, the community has to help itself. One of the reasons that we keep having heartbreaking problems that we had over the weekend, is because the police are never able to arrest the shooter. Why? Because there is some sort of code of honor on the streets.”
According to Kapszukiewicz that code of honor is the reason people with information are choosing not to come forward. “Let me make something clear there were no arrests on Saturday because I don’t know who did this, Chief Kral does not know who did this,” Kapszukiewicz says. “But, you know who knows who did this? The person who was the target.”
Anita Madison is the chair of communications for the Toledo chapter of the NAACP. The group released a statement today voicing its outrage. “We want our community to kind of band together to address this issue,” says Madison. “It has a huge toll on the community. It has a huge toll on all the families that are affected.”
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