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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Chiara Giordano

Akron shooting: Girl, 4, dies and man fights for life as gunman opens fire on crowd

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A four-year-old girl has died and a man is fighting for life after a shooting in Ohio.

The youngster reportedly died from a gunshot wound to her head after a man fired into a crowd at an outdoor family celebration in the Summit Hill neighbourhood on Friday.

The youngster was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital, which was locked down after the incident, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

The injured man was taken to another hospital, where he is said to be in a critical condition.

Police have not yet released the identities of the victims and no arrests have been made.

They said the shooting was not related to demonstrations taking place in the city following the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jayland Walker.

However, speaking outside Akron Children’s Hospital on Friday, Mayor Dan Horrigan urged people to ‘de-escalate’ tensions in the city, the Journal reports.

“I talked to the mom and grandmother,” he said. “There’s a heartbreak in the city. Tensions are really high, on a shooting on a little girl who won’t see her fifth birthday.”

Mr Walker, 25, was shot dead by Akron police officers after fleeing a minor traffic stop on foot earlier this week.

Police body camera footage showed a large group of officers firing a storm of as many as 90 shots at Mr Walker.

There have been protests in the US since the death of Jayland Walker (AFP via Getty Images)

More than 60 of the bullets hit the motorist, according to reports of early autopsy evidence.

Police said Mr Walker fled an attempted traffic stop in the early hours of Monday morning, leading police on a car chase.

As officers pursued in their cruisers, officials say police both heard and saw a gun shot flash out from Mr Walker’s car.

At the Sunday press conference, officers played video from a highway traffic camera which showed a grainy image of a flash coming from Mr Walker’s car.

Attorneys for Mr Walker’s family said they had not seen evidence he fired at police. A handgun with a loaded magazine was recovered sitting on the front seat of the 25-year-old’s car.

Mr Walker, a 25-year-old Black motorist, was shot dead by Akron police officers after fleeing a minor traffic stop on foot (Phil Masturzo)

Body camera footage captured a group of eight officers pursuing Mr Walker through a car park as he began to run away on foot.

According to police, officers first tried to use a Taser on the 25-year-old.

Mr Walker then “stopped and quickly turned” towards officers. Believing he was armed, they fired countless shots towards the man, police said, even though Mr Walker was in fact unarmed at the time of the chase on foot.

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