Jaquare Jackson had the look of a tough guy: the shaved head, thick arms, broad shoulders. Inside, though, pumped the heart of a father.
It’s hard to imagine, for police and his family, why someone would want to end the Akron man’s life.
Why and who are questions being asked after Jackson was shot and killed by another motorist Wednesday afternoon in West Akron.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Zenia Nash-Johnston, Jackson’s aunt. “I know we’re taught not to raise or question the way God does things in our lives. And our faith guides us.
“But the magnitude of somebody damaging our family with five seconds of shooting a gun, it’s just not fair. It’s not fair.”
Jackson, 31, a father of four children between the ages of 5 and 14, was driving his car on Copley Road near the Akron Zoo when he was attacked about 3 p.m. Police say someone inside an SUV crossed the center line, pulled next to Jackson’s car and opened fire.
Jackson was struck in the spray of gunfire. A male passenger, 28, was shot once and wounded, but is expected to survive.
The side of Jackson’s 2000 Oldsmobile Aurora was riddled with gunfire as it rolled down Copley Road before stopping near the Circle K gas station at Cedar and South Maple streets.
Police are seeking the public’s help in developing a motive and a suspect.
Nash-Johnston said Jackson was shot while returning home after dropping off some clothes for his kindergartner son. That’s the type of father he was, she said. He put his children first, before his second love, music.
Although certified in heating and air conditioning repair, Jackson was studying music production while operating his own company, Off Da Traxx. He was popular in the local music scene, helping aspiring rappers in recording and performances.
Police say Jackson had some run-ins with the law years ago, but was not a career criminal nor was he known to run in the city’s drug culture.
Family members say music became Jackson’s refuge after some early struggles in life.
“He finally found his niche, which was music,” Nash-Johnston said. “That was his passion. He finally got there and it’s been taken away from him.”
To Yania Skyy Jackson, 11, he was just dad. He was an attentive father to her and three siblings, all of whom were punished with reason and timeouts, not shouts or physical discipline. Almost every day, he’d have a Slushy or soda waiting for her when she returned from fifth grade at Crouse Elementary.
“He just wanted to be here and help,” Yania Skyy said. “If we asked for anything, we might not get it right away, but in a day or two, he would come through.
“He made me smile. His heart was very special and he made my life special. I wanted to share my life with my dad and he wanted to share his with me. Now, he’s gone.”
Novembers have been a difficult month for the Jackson family. In November 1984, Jackson’s father was stabbed and killed during a quarrel with a family member. Jackson’s mother, Darla, raised her two sons alone.
The SUV in Wednesday’s shooting is described as full-sized and charcoal gray with a bumper decal showing the image of yellow lips. A partial license plate was also seen containing the numbers of 2129.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or recognizing the suspect vehicle is asked to contact the Akron Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490.
Anonymous tips can be left via the Internet at http://akronohio.gov/asp/tip.html.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.