By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer
A former Ellet High football star was coming to the aid of a friend when two robbers shot and killed him last week, police said.
Ramous L. Lewis, 15, of Akron, was placed in juvenile custody Wednesday on delinquency charges of aggravated murder, robbery and felonious assault.
Police allege that Lewis fired the fatal gunshot. Prosecutors will decide whether to file a motion to try him as an adult.
Also arrested was David Patrick Phillips, 25, of Akron, who was charged with complicity to commit aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.
Detectives said multiple anonymous tips sent to the police department, along with surveillance cameras positioned outside Lovers Lane Market, were used to identify the suspects.
The two are accused of killing Paris Wicks II, 23, a former all-city tailback at Ellet High School who led the Orangemen to a share of the City Series title in 2006. Branson Price, 23, who also played football for Ellet, was wounded in the attack.
The shooting occurred one week ago, shortly after 3:30 p.m., behind Lovers Lane Market at Lovers Lane and South Arlington Street.
Police Lt. Rick Edwards said the shootings began as a random robbery. He said Wicks and Price parked behind the market, and Wicks went inside.
When he returned to his car, he saw at least two people robbing Price.
“When he tried to help his friend, they all got into a tussle, and Mr. Wicks wound up being shot in the chest,” Edwards said.
Wicks collapsed in the parking lot.
Police said video surveillance shows a small group of people kicking the dying man as he lay on the asphalt.
Price was shot in the leg and managed to run from the scene and toward a South Arlington Street business a block away.
The group dispersed when someone sounded a car horn and officers were called.
Police say there were others in the parking lot in addition to the two suspects. Detectives are still reviewing the case to determine if others will be charged.
Edwards said it appears the robbery suspects were targeting Price for cash. Drugs or drug sales are not believed to be a contributing factor to the crime.
While Wicks was arrested in June on drug abuse charges, prosecutors dismissed the felony indictment — and a forfeiture specification aimed at keeping $269 found on him — before the case went to trial.
He was convicted only of a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.
Price has no felony convictions or arrests, according to local court records.
Wicks followed his father’s footsteps as a nonscholarship athlete at Youngstown State University.
He suited up as a sophomore for the Penguins in 2009, but never played.
His father, Paris, set rushing records at North High School in the late 1970s and later at Youngstown State, where he was a two-time All-America selection. Paris Wicks I is a member of the university’s athletic hall of fame.
Funeral services for Wicks are pending at Sommerville Funeral Home.