Na’Kia Crawford was allegedly fatally shot on Sunday (June 14) while she was inside her vehicle at an intersection in Akron, Ohio. She was only 18 years old and had just graduated from North High School on June 3. Her family believes the shooting was racially motivated.
According to News 5 Cleveland, Crawford reportedly suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Akron City Hospital where she later died from her injuries. Her grandmother was also in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, but was uninjured.
Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said that Crawford was the district’s second student in a week to pass away from gun violence.
“We will never know what Na’Kia Crawford might have done in or after college,” he said. “She is our second student in a week to die a violent death. The flame of her candle went out way too early. To make it to her high school graduation, with plans for her future, especially during this difficult time of COVID-19, just stings that much more. The heartache is real for those of us left behind to pick up the pieces.”
On Monday (June 15), Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued a statement on Crawford’s killing saying she deserved to have a life and a future. He also said that the department is actively investigating reports that the suspect was a white male driving a black sports car with tinted windows.
“Na’kia Crawford was a young woman who deserved a life and a future,” he said. “She was a recent high school graduate, preparing to start the next chapter of her story at Central State University. Her senseless murder is devastating, not only to her family and friends, but to the entire Akron community.”
He continued, “I spoke with Nakia’s father and uncle, who I know, early this morning, and my heart truly goes out to all Na’kia’s loved ones in this time of incredible grief and pain. These events are extremely real and important to me and to the Akron Police detectives investigating Na’kia’s death. I feel that it is essential to say clearly and loudly: Black lives matter. Nakia Crawford’s life mattered.”
Akron police have released images of the vehicle they believe is linked to Crawford’s murder. No other information regarding a suspect or motive has been released and no arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information on her death is asked to contact Akron Police at 330-375-2490.