A reputed street gang member is accused of shooting an Akron woman after she flashed her car headlights while passing him on a North Hill street.
William Dawson, 21, was connected to the Jan. 24 shooting through ballistic evidence collected from the scene and later matched to a gun he was found carrying earlier this month, police said.
Dawson was charged Monday with felonious assault and is being held in the Summit County Jail.
Wylene Edwards, 59, a popular beautician in North Hill, still has a bullet lodged in her upper shoulder. She told police she was driving her car and was shot after she flashed her car headlights to alert two men who were standing in the middle of Elma Street.
One of the bullets fired at her car barely missed striking an artery near her neck. A second grazed her back. Edwards was hospitalized for two days. She is still recuperating and is unable to work. She has no medical insurance and relies on the Open M Free Medical Center for treatment.
Friends have established the Wylene Edwards Benevolent Fund at all FirstMerit branches.
“It’s bittersweet,” Edwards said, hours after learning of the arrest. “I definitely wanted them to get caught because I’ve been in quite a bit of pain and I’m mad at them.
“But I want to make sure he really did it. I don’t want an innocent person convicted either.”
Police say Dawson is the suspect who fired the shot that struck Edwards. Officers seized a handgun from him when he was arrested March 6 not far from Elma Street. He was accused of pointing a gun and ordering a mail carrier from an alley of North Main Street.
He was charged with two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, aggravated menacing and drug abuse. Police said Dawson also had a knife, a bag of marijuana and two scales.
“If he did that to that mail carrier, I’m glad he’s off the street. That’s terrible, too,” Edwards said.
Police have not identified the second suspect.