Police continued the search Wednesday for a 24-year-old Akron man suspected of fatally gunning down a man in broad daylight Monday in the Summit Lake neighborhood.
An eight-hour standoff Tuesday night on Allenford Street that police hoped would end with the capture of suspect Eugene Calvin Wells Jr. concluded with tear gas and a SWAT raid, but no Wells.
Dozens of spectators along Manchester Road waited for hours in the hope that Wells would be captured. Walter J. Matthews, 23, the man who was killed Monday, was popular in the neighborhood and was praised by several in the crowd who knew him.
Police spokesman Lt. David Laughlin said Wednesday that the conclusion of Tuesday’s standoff was disappointing.
“Obviously, when you have someone who is wanted for murder, you exhaust all possibilities,” Laughlin said.
Police accuse Wells of fatally shooting Matthews on Monday near the intersection of Princeton and West South streets. Officers responded to the shooting about 3:30 p.m. and found Matthews lying in the middle of road.
He later died at an Akron hospital.
Laughlin said Akron police received information about Wells’ whereabouts on Tuesday and descended on the Allenford Street address.
“We got a tip that he was there,” Laughlin said. “Based on that, we are going to err on the side of caution, [but] it didn’t pan out.”
At the height of Tuesday’s operation on Allenford Street, police had assembled 12 cruisers and a police van. A section of Allenford Street from Manchester Road to Pelton Avenue was blocked off as onlookers watched from both ends of the street.
Laughlin said that police believe, based on the information they received, that Wells was at the home at some point Tuesday. Before the SWAT team activity, Wells’ mother left the house.
Laughlin said that police continue to seek information about Wells’ location.
“Hopefully, we get some traction,” he said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490; or 330-375-2Tip, or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330-434-COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous.
Alan Ashworth can be reached at 330-996-3859 or emailed at email@example.com.