Woman charged with shooting at Oasis bar shot dead by police

An Akron police officer shot a woman early Friday morning after the woman allegedly shot someone inside a bar that has a troubled history on North Howard Street.

The officer shot the 21-year-old woman during a foot chase after shooting another 21-year-old woman in the restrooms of the Oasis Surf and Turf bar in the city’s North Hill area, police said .

A man died in a shooting outside the same bar on June 19.

City Attorney Craig Morgan said Friday he will meet with the bar owner and liquor licensee soon to discuss ongoing issues that need to be resolved or the city will take enforcement action.

The latest incident happened just before 3 a.m. after a fight broke out in the restroom, Akron police said. The woman who was shot inside the bar went to a nearby hospital where she remained in critical condition on Friday afternoon with a gunshot wound to the abdomen area, police said.

Akron police say a 21-year-old woman was shot early Friday morning in the restrooms of the Oasis Surf and Turf bar on North Howard Street.  The suspected shooter was later shot dead by police.

The woman shot by the Akron officer was given first aid at the scene and then taken to Summa Akron City Hospital with injuries deemed not to be life-threatening, police said .

The Oasis is on North Howard Street near the intersection with Tallmadge Avenue.

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A witness at the bar followed the suspect and reported officers, Akron police said. Officers said they saw the suspect had a handgun and then launched a foot chase.

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The officer shot the woman during the chase in a parking lot, police say. A weapon was recovered from the scene of the shooting, police said.

“Officers saw what appeared to be the suspect raising her arm in a shooting manner,” Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett told Beacon Journal partner News 5 Cleveland. “And the officer engaged fire, hitting the suspect twice. When the suspect fell to the ground, and as the officers went to rescue her, a gun was found next to her body. “

The officer’s body camera video of the incident will be released within seven days, as required by a 2021 Akron order, Mylett said. “We want to get the video out to everyone.”

Mylett said based on what he saw in the footage, the suspect put officers in a position where they had to make a split-second decision.

Police did not release the names of those involved.

The parking lot, at the former Liberty Harley-Davidson dealership at North Howard and Cuyahoga Falls Avenue, was largely blocked off by police tape for hours. The property is now used as a convenience store and nightclub.

The officer who fired the shot, a two-year veteran, was not injured and was placed on paid administrative leave. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting with the Ohio Attorney General’s office, police said. A Summit County grand jury will consider his findings.

A separate internal investigation will be conducted by the Office of Professional Standards and Accountability. The results will be given to Mylett and the City Police Auditor for review.

It is the first shooting involving an officer since the death of Jayland Walker in June which led to protests and the fourth police shooting since December.

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Walker was shot 46 times by eight officers and died at the scene. Police say he fired during a car chase that started in North Hill, not far from the scene of Friday’s shooting.

The city is exploring options involving Oasis

Morgan has sworn to hold the owner of the Oasis accountable.

According to Summit County records, the property has been owned since 2017 by Kimberly Lockett of Seward Avenue in Akron. When reached by phone Friday, Lockett said she had not heard from the city and declined to comment.

“My office is going to take a close look at the Oasis,” Morgan said. “There are a lot of layers available. It usually starts with a meeting between the owner and the liquor licensee. This lays the groundwork for the next steps.”

At the next meeting, which had not yet been scheduled for Friday afternoon, the owner of the Oasis will have the choice of addressing the city’s concerns or facing enforcement action, Morgan said. The meeting will clarify the city’s law enforcement options, he said.

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The city council can object to renewing the Oasis liquor license, he said. The city can also declare the Oasis a nuisance, he said.

Before the city sees the need to act, “we’re hoping they’ll comply with the issues we’re trying to address,” Morgan said. “Once I put them on notice, I expect things to get better.”

His office is compiling a police call list for service at the Oasis, he said. Besides the fatal shooting in June and the shooting on Friday, there were other police calls there, he said.

“There have certainly been other ownership calls,” Morgan said. “There are calls every year.”

On Friday afternoon, North Hill resident Doug, who lives near the bar, said ‘there are a lot of fights and shootings happening outside the Oasis parking lot which the police are not aware”.

“I can see from my balcony sometimes at 3 or 4 a.m. people in the parking lot behind Oasis fighting or drinking beers and throwing rocks at nearby houses,” said the man, who declined to use its full name because of security concerns.

“I live with my 3 year old daughter and I’m afraid to let her play outside at night because I don’t want her to get hit by a stray ball or a rock or hurt herself.”

Todd Burros, a North Hill resident who lives a few blocks from Oasis, thinks the bar itself is not at fault, but rather the patrons who frequent the bar.

“The violence at Oasis involves a majority of children who are part of a culture where owning and using firearms and participating in violence is glorified,” said Burros, 61. “Oasis isn’t the problem; the problem is the young people who spend their nights getting drunk and believing that fighting or shooting each other is the only way to solve their problems.”

What happened in other police shootings?

On December 23 in Kenmore, two officers electrocuted and then shot James Gross, 58, in the head and neck. According to police reports and body-worn camera footage released within a week of each incident, Gross held a knife to his ex-wife’s throat at the time.

Two separate officers fired a total of four shots at a home in West Akron on February 22, killing 21-year-old Lawrence LeJames Rodgers.

Rodgers had appeared several times through the side door of his cousins’ house on Ritchie Avenue while police were outside. He was ordered to drop a handgun, which officers say was pointed at them just before they opened fire. Mortally wounded, police say, Rodgers returned to the living room and killed his cousin. Akron also released police video of the initial incident.

Writer Anthony Thompson contributed to this report. Beacon Journal reporter Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or [email protected] Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ.

About James K. Bonnette

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