YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police say they need any help they can get in finding answers on how a 16-year-old boy was shot to death Tuesday evening in the area around Homestead Park.
Chief of Detectives Capt. Jason Simon said Wednesday that they are hoping security cameras at the park may provide some clues into the death of Isaiah Walker, who died at his home in the 700 block of Wilbur Avenue after being shot around 8:45 p.m.
Walker was a sophomore at Rayen Early College.
Simon said Walker went to the park to play basketball but investigators do not know if he ever made it there. After he was shot, he ran home, where he died.
Detectives were in the area early Wednesday morning when the sun was up to look for evidence but it appeared they did not find anything. They were also knocking on doors to see if anyone heard or saw anything or if anyone had security video they could view.
“Usually, folks are really good at providing us with footage,” Simon said.
Simon said police are working with personnel from the park department to view the footage on the cameras that are placed on the sole building in the park on the East Dewey Avenue side.
Police were sent to the area for several calls of gunfire but they were never able to find the exact source. Unlike other areas of the South Side, the neighborhood does not have the Shotspotter gunshot sensor system, which can give a more fixed position for gunfire, allowing officers to find a crime scene or arrive quicker to give aid to someone who is injured.
Police have no information that Walker was targeted. In fact, neighbors went out of their way to praise him, Simon said, saying he would help people carry in groceries as well as other kind acts.
“The neighbors spoke very highly of him,” Simon said.
Police need any information they can get to find out what happened and why, Simon said.
Anyone with information can call detectives at 330-742-8911 or CrimeStoppers Youngstown at 330-746-CLUE.
Walker is the sixth person 18 and under in the city to be shot this year, but the first to be killed. Last year, five people 18 and under were killed.
Walker’s death also mirrors the July 18, 2020, shooting death of Brandon Wesley, 19. Wesley was playing basketball at the park and walking when two groups of people firing guns at each other began shooting and Wesley was hit.
That case has yet to be solved.
Last year, Youngstown had 31 total homicides. At this time last year, the city had 12 homicides.