The haunting 911 call from a Barberton woman paints a picture of the aftermath of a shooting New Year’s Eve that left her and her boyfriend wounded and his two teenage children dead.
“Help, help,” a wounded Ronda Blankenship pleads to a dispatcher in the conversation released Thursday by Southwest Summit Communications. “I’m bleeding everywhere … my boyfriend is here. I have two kids here … Help, help, help. Oh God.”
Authorities released the nearly three-minute call as investigators look for suspects in the shooting.
One of the victims, Ashley Carpenter, had planned to get married after graduating from Barberton High School this spring, a family friend said Thursday.
And her brother, David Kohler Carpenter, wanted to follow his sister’s footsteps and play the clarinet in the Barberton High School band after he graduated from Barberton Middle School.
The two teenagers were killed in the apparent robbery attempt Tuesday evening inside their father’s house on Seventh Street NE in Barberton.
“They were good kids,” said Haleina Pouncey, whose daughter, Tabbie, was best friends with Ashley Carpenter.
Pouncey said she is a close friend with the slain teenagers’ mother, Leiha Carpenter, who asked her to speak on behalf of the grieving family.
“They went to school,” Pouncey said. “They did what they were supposed to do.”
The siblings, Ashley, 18, and David, 14, were visiting their father over the New Year’s holiday when the shootings took place.
The children’s father, John Kohler, 42, and his girlfriend Ronda Blankenship were both wounded in the incident. John Kohler’s condition was not released.
Ruth Fullmer, Blankenship’s mother, said her 38-year-old daughter was shot in the head, but the bullet missed her brain. She is listed in stable condition at an undisclosed Akron hospital.
Her daughter has a “defense wound” on her finger, Fuller said, that she believes came when her daughter attempted to push the gun out of the way.
“We believe she saved her own life,” said Fullmer, who lives in Barberton.
Students at both the high school and middle school are invited to call 330-753-1084 to arrange a time to meet with grief counselors.
Barberton police spokesman Marty Eberhart said investigators are working around the clock to catch those responsible for the shooting.
“It appears they were targeted for robbery,” Eberhart said.
Investigators are asking for the public’s help.
“If anybody saw anything, heard anything, even if they think it is irrelevant, [they should] call the Barberton Detective Bureau or Summit County Crimestoppers,” he said. “We are hoping maybe somebody saw something and they will call.”
The Barberton Detective Bureau’s number is 330-848-6709. To make an anonymous tip, call 330-434-COPS (2677) or text “TIPSCO” along with any information to 274637 at Summit County Crimestoppers.
Pouncey said the family appreciates the concern shown by the community.
“We thank them for their support and everything they are trying to do to help,” she said. “It has been rough.”
A candlelight vigil for the victims was held Thursday night at Lake Anna in downtown Barberton.
A Facebook Page — R.I.P Ashley Carpenter and David Kohler<3 — has been established and had already attracted 250 followers by Thursday evening.
“I wish this was just a nightmare,” one woman posted on the page. “Neither Ashley nor David deserved this.”
Funeral arrangements are pending at Cox Funeral Home at 222 Norton Ave. in Barberton.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.