Akron Police Department Lt. Rick Edwards is calling three citizens and a security guard heroes, after they came to the aid of a wounded mother protecting her children from her ex-boyfriend.
According to police, an unidentified 23-year-old woman was walking down the road on Sunday in Akron’s Middlebury neighborhood with her three little girls ages 1, 3, and 4, and another woman and her child.
Police and witnesses said 24-year-old Akil Scott Jackson, the woman’s ex-boyfriend and father of her youngest child, parked his red pickup truck at a near by gas station and approached the young mother.
Jackson, who had been arrested in March for domestic violence charges at the woman’s home, became verbally, and physically aggressive.
A security guard, who was hired to protect a nearby fire station construction site, heard the commotion and went to investigate.
When he arrived, the security guard witnessed Jackson pull a gun and fire, shooting the mother multiple times in the upper back as she huddled over her children.
“At that point, I saw a weapon come out. A shot was fired. I immediately started to return fire.” The guard told the 911 dispatcher.
The gun fire from the security guard drove Jackson away from his victim. As he fled, he appeared to be holding his side, perhaps indicating that the guard had wounded him. Meanwhile, the woman who had been walking down the street with the victim, fled the area with her own child.
Jackson however would not be deterred for long and fired back at the guard. Then returned to where the victim lay on the sidewalk and once again attempted to kill her. Fortunately, his firearm malfunctioned, and he was unable to complete the murder.
Perhaps seeing an opportunity, two men and a woman passing in two different cars leapt to assist the mother. While the two men fought with Jackson, the woman pulled the mother and her children into her vehicle and fled the scene, dialing 911 as she did.
In the 911 recording of the call, the woman fleeing the scene with the victim told dispatchers,
“This woman has been shot and all three of her kids are right here,” she told the dispatcher. “The [shooter] is down there. My boyfriend is down there. She’s been shot and she’s bleeding out all over my car.”
When the dispatcher told her to pull over and stop so police could find her, she said:
“I can’t [stop],” the caller yelled. “He’s chasing her and trying to kill her.”
Then, she spotted a police vehicle speeding to respond to the multiple reports of shots fired and was able to get the attention of the officer.
In the background the victims faint voice can be heard asking where her children were.
“They’re in the car,” her rescuer said, “Don’t move. Don’t move. You’re OK.”
Meanwhile, her boyfriend and another man were struggling with Jackson, who dropped his jammed pistol, and pulled a knife.
Possibly because of his knife, Jackson was able to break free from the men and grabbed his gun before running Southeast on River Street. As he ran, he was able to clear the malfunction on his pistol and again traded shots with the pursuing security guard.
The disturbed Jackson was still moving in the direction of his badly wounded victim, when he was approached by Akron officers.
Police say he then put the pistol to his head and fired one final shot. He was taken quickly to Akron City Hospital where he died of the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
His victim was taken to the same hospital at around 5 p.m. and listed in serious condition.
No one else, including the children or the security guard who was in the shootout with Jackson, were reported to be injured.
Jackson, who had a list of domestic violence charges, was sentenced to 15 months of probation after being convicted for breaking and entering a home in Bath Township last year.
Lt. Edwards said charges against the security guard for firing at Jackson were unlikely. The Akron Police Lieutenant then went on to say:
“The actions of the security guard and the three citizens saved her life and possibly her children. [They] are heroes in my book. [They] stepped up in a crisis without training against an armed suspect, then grabbed the female that was shot in the back and her children and drove to safety.”
A surprising amount of violent crime occurs near and around vehicles. Brush up on Vehicle Firearm Tactics here.
What lessons do you think could be learned?