Religious leader reacts to mass shooting in Akron

CLEVELAND – The community of Akron is recovering from the horrific mass murder.

What you need to know

  • At least 24 people were injured and one person was killed in a mass shooting in Akron
  • Zion Baptist Church will soon hold a vigil
  • Reverend Ward prays for the community after the tragedy

In the East Akron neighborhood, several people said they heard the gunshots shortly after midnight. Community members said there have been a lot of shootings in the area recently. One resident said he misses the days when there was a stronger police presence in the area.

At the nearby Zion Baptist Church, Reverend Mark Ward, the church's pastor, prayed over the tragedy.

“We know about the tragedies all over the city, but here on the east side, we are not just pastors, we live here and we just pray for the community,” Ward said.

The church is less than a mile from the crime scene.

“My heart is heavy and aching today, and we're just trying to encourage the community today not to lose heart,” Ward said.

Ward said they would soon hold a vigil on the church grounds.

“We're going to let the community know that we need to come together and just pray for this tragedy, for all the families affected,” Ward said.

“I just want to say to the city, let's pray for one another, because what happened here on the east side last night can happen anywhere in the city, in any neighborhood, to any ethnicity,” Ward said.