Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic assured the community Friday that investigators are working to find the killer or killers of four people discovered shot to death execution style in a public housing unit on Thursday.
“The Akron Police Department will continue to work tirelessly, as they always do when events like this occur, to sort through these events, capture the suspects and solve these serious crimes,” the mayor said. “All resources are being exhausted so that these homicides can be solved as quickly as possible.”
Investigators said Friday there were no new developments in the murder of two women and two men found dead in the basement of an apartment near Chapel Hill Mall.
Lt. Rick Edwards said there are no suspects, and police have yet to determine a motive in the killings on Kimlyn Circle.
The shooting is among the most deadly in recent memory in the city. In August 1992, three women were slain in the Edgewood Homes area of Akron.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies Friday, said Gary Guenther, chief investigator for the medical examiner. The victims are: Ronald Roberts, 24, of Kimlyn Place; Kem Rashad Delaney, 23, of Merton Avenue in Akron; Maria Nash, 19, address unknown, and Kiana Welch, 19, address unknown.
The victims — all shot in the face — were discovered in an Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority-owned townhouse located on Kimlyn Circle off of Independence Avenue.
Kem Delaney, 53, of Detroit, said Friday afternoon that his son was among the victims. The family, he said, has no clue why someone would want to kill their loved one.
Kem Rashad Delaney attended Buchtel High School and later received his GED. He was attending classes part time at the University of Akron, according to the family.
April Roberts-Gilbert on Thursday said her son, Ronald Roberts, was killed. The family said Roberts recently became a father for the second time and was training to be a draftsman.
Plusquellic said the city is “looking at all possible means to stop these incidents before they happen.”
“Nobody wants to hear about these tragedies, and we are continuously trying to find ways to anticipate and protect against these horrific events,” he said.
This month has been a particularly busy time for homicide investigators in Summit County.
A couple from New Franklin was bludgeoned to death in their home. An Akron teen and an Akron man are in custody and charged with the couple’s deaths. Another death, this time an Akron McDonald’s worker killed as he took out the trash, also has dominated headlines. An Akron man is in custody in that case.
Plusquellic pointed to the swift arrest in the McDonald’s case as an example of the tireless work by the police department and the assistance of the public to help bring justice for families.
The mayor said Thursday’s mass killing has once again left the city “to mourn the lives of four young people.”
“[Thursday’s] acts do not appear to be random acts of violence,” the mayor said. “The victims appear to have been targeted for reasons still under investigation.”
Akron Councilman Bruce Kilby, who represents Ward 2, where the homicides occurred, said he hasn’t gotten many complaints about the Kimlyn Circle townhouses other than about kids jumping fences and walking through neighborhoods.
“I never had any problems with it,” he said.
Kilby said he was shocked to hear about what happened and drove past the townhouses Friday.
“A quadruple execution — that makes national news,” he said. “To pick up the paper and see this, ‘Four slain near Chapel Hill’... Gosh, the families really are going through some traumatic times here. That’s a shame.”
Kilby said the police department does a good job responding to high-profile crimes like this one, but he questioned whether the department has the officers it needs to do police work the “old-fashioned way,” responding to lower-priority complaints, such as a suspected drug house, and having a presence in the neighborhoods.
“I just kind of think we need more cops out there, but the little things in neighborhoods are what drives people crazy,” he said. “We are not doing anything about low-level drug dealing.”
Akron currently has 411 police officers and is in the process of training 40 more, which would bring the department up to its budgeted strength of 451, according to Stephanie York, the city’s spokeswoman.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Akron police at 330-375-2490. Anonymous tips for this or any crime can be left online at http://ci.akron.oh.us/ASP/tip.html.
Information may also be provided anonymously by calling Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS (2677). Tipsters may qualify for a cash reward.