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Woman riding as passenger in vehicle killed in Akron shooting

Authorities say Latajah Leatherwood was the passenger in a vehicle when the suspect in another vehicle opened fire.

AKRON, Ohio — A 28-year-old Akron woman has died following a shooting that happened earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Latajah Leatherwood was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on East Avenue “when a suspect in another vehicle fired a weapon” around 11:40 a.m., according to details released Thursday morning from the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Authorities say she was shot in the head.

Leatherwood was taken to an Akron hospital where she was pronounced dead hours later at 7:26 p.m.

"There’s nothing indicating that she was targeted," Akron Police Capt. David Laughlin told 3News. "We believe her to be an innocent victim. I’m not sure the motive of why that vehicle was targeted. She was just an innocent person just driving down as a passenger in the car at 11:30 on a Tuesday."

A 52-year-old man told Akron police he saw the suspect vehicle "driving erratically" behind him, so he slowed down and started to pull over. He said shots were then fired at his vehicle, striking Leatherwood in the passenger seat, as the suspect vehicle passed.

Both the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Akron Police Department are investigating the shooting. "We don't have much to go on," Laughlin said. "We need the public's help."

Several homes in the neighborhood have cameras that may have captured the suspect's vehicle. Any one of them could hold key information that could help police. 

Anybody with information is asked to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

"We want a safe Akron. We work hard for a safe Akron. This community is a close-knit community and works well together. And that’s why getting information from the public right now is imperative," Laughlin added. "We have a victim and a victim’s family who are going to be suffering for the rest of their lives over this tragic incident. And it’s not something that acceptable in our community. And we won’t stop until we solve this crime and any other crime of violence in our community."

You can see video released by the Akron Police Department below:


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