The 28-year-old Akron man who was fatally shot Saturday while taking garbage to a trash bin in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant at 309 W. Market St. was remembered on Sunday as a man with a caring heart by a former co-worker.
“He was the kind of person who would give you his last dollar. He always gave his co-workers gifts on holidays — Christmas, Thanksgiving. Who gives gifts on Thanksgiving? He didn’t have a lot of money, so he would burn a CD and give it to you,” said the former employee of the West Market Street store. “I don’t believe this was personal because he avoided trouble. If he ever had a problem with another employee, he would go to them and talk it out and apologize, if he needed to.”
The former employee, who asked that his name not be used for privacy reasons, said he came to the restaurant on Sunday after learning of the shooting to check on the well-being of other employees. He said the shooting victim had worked at the busy McDonald’s for at least 10 years.
According to information released by the Akron police and the Summit County Medical Examiner, the McDonald’s employee was taking out the trash shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, when he was confronted near the back door and shot several times.
The employee, whose name has not been released pending notification of relatives, was pronounced dead at 11:22 p.m. at Akron General Medical Center. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed today.
Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards described the suspect as a black male with a medium complexion and moustache, 22 to 27 years old, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing 150 to 180 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt at the time of the shooting and was seen in a dark colored SUV with tinted windows, possibly a Ford Expedition or Cadillac Escalade, traveling southbound on Valley Street toward Crosby Street.
John Blickle, owner/operator of Rubber City McDonald’s issued a statement on Sunday in the wake of the shooting.
“Our entire Rubber City McDonald’s family is shocked by the tragedy at our West Market Street restaurant,” he said. “We offer our prayers and sympathies to the family of the victim. The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our top priority. We are cooperating with the police investigating this incident and defer any questions to them.”
The restaurant shares a parking lot entrance and is adjacent to the Akron school district’s swing-space building at 400 W. Market Street.
The building currently houses students from King and Harris elementary schools.
Before leaving the restaurant on Sunday, the visibly upset former employee looked toward the back door of the restaurant and scanned the parking lot area from the door to the trash bin, shaking his head in disbelief. Meanwhile, cars continued to flow through the drive-through and customers walked in and out of the restaurant doors.
“He didn’t deserve this,” the former employee said. “I can’t believe they’re open. I thought they would be closed for at least a couple of days. They lost one of the best employees they ever had here. He considered everybody who worked here his family.”
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Akron Police Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490, the U.S. Marshal’s Service at 1-866-492-6833, or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-2677. Callers can remain anonymous.
By Colette M. Jenkins - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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