A 17-year-old boy has been found beaten to death outside a LeBron James-founded high school in Ohio.
Ethan Liming, 17, died near the basketball courts of the I Promise School in Akron on June 2, 2022.
Police are investigating his murder but no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, his grieving father Bill Liming is begging anyone who knows something about his son’s death to come forward.
‘We need someone with courage and confidence. We need you to help our children. We need you to help our family,’ Bill told Fox8.
He also slammed the school for its ‘grossly insufficient’ security as he warned fellow parents that it wasn’t a safe place for their children.
‘I know we’ve been led to believe it’s a safe and secure place, it is not safe,’ he said. ‘It is not secure,’ he said. ‘The cameras they have there are grossly insufficient.’
An autopsy has since found that the teen died from blunt force head injury.
Police believe he may have been killed after his friends went around shooting a water gun at people.
Ethan Liming, 17, was found near the basketball courts of the I Promise School on June 2, 2022 and died after suffering blunt force head injury
Basketball star LeBron James asked his 51 million followers on Twitter to ‘pray for our community’ following the death of the teen on the campus of his I Promise School
Ethan Liming, 17, died near the basketball courts of the I Promise School in Akron on June 2
Police said they believe Liming was riding around with his friends when one or two of them reportedly used a Splatrball Water Bead Blaster – a type of water gun – potentially against ‘unsuspecting people.’
The car of teens then drove toward a group of males who were playing basketball at the school and shot the soft gel gun at them, which led to the fight, police said.
Police determined that the collective actions of the teens in the car appear to have ‘unfortunately provoked the altercation.’
Police added that there is ‘no evidence to this point, to suggest the incident was in any way, racially motivated.’
‘There were assumptions made that this was a race-related incident,’ the police chief said at the presser. ‘There is nothing that we have in our possession right now, any information at all, indicating that race played a role in this homicide. If we do receive information that race played a role in this, as in any homicide, we will consult with our prosecuting attorneys and add additional charges.’
‘It was a senseless act of violence in our city yet again,’ Chief Stephen Mylett said. ‘We have a lot of work to do in this city as the country does at large.’
Police also said this week that they have video of the incident, but added that they did not want to give specific details at this time.
Liming’s mother called on the public to help identify the suspects.
‘Ethan was everything. He was a good boy. He was a smart boy. I have loved life. I have loved living life. He wanted to be friends with everybody, ‘his mother, Jennifer Liming, said. ‘Ethan didn’t see color. He saw hearts. He was just such a good person.
‘Please help us find these people,’ she said. ‘I just miss him so much. I wish he was here.’
Last week, Basketball star LeBron James his 51 million followers on Twitter to ‘pray for our community’ following the death of the teen on the campus of his I Promise School.
‘Our condolences go out to the family who lost a loved one,’ he wrote. ‘(May) the heavens above watch over you during this tragedy!
‘Pray for our community!’
The school is a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools. The last day of classes was May 25.
Over the weekend, Liming’s family and friends gathered to remember the teen and to call on anyone with information about the suspects to come forward, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Liming’s family and friends gathered to remember the teen and to call on anyone with information about the suspects to come forward
Liming’s family posted photos on social media of the teen with heartfelt tributes
‘Ethan was everything. He was a good boy. He was a smart boy. I have loved life. He loved living life, ‘his family of him said as they posted tributes to the teen on social media
A photo of Liming and his family members was posted to social media as they grieved him
Liming’s father Bill told the local news that he was fighting for his life.
‘He was fighting back for his life,’ he said. ‘A third individual came up behind him and overwhelmed him. And they knocked him out on the ground. His friends of him tried to help him.’
He said his friends unsuccessfully tried to drive the other group away.
‘My son Ethan Liming was murdered by three African American males and a female who stood by and did nothing,’ Bill Liming said.
‘We live in a sick world. People look at each other based on the color of skin or the fact somebody disagrees with somebody else. And because you disagree with me you must be evil,’ he said. ‘And we have so dehumanized each other in our society, that’s why my son was murdered. Some people looked at him as somebody whose life didn’t matter. And it just breaks our hearts. And we don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s child.’
The LeBron James Family Foundation shared the following statement on social media expressing condolences:
‘Our community is everything to us. We were devastated to learn of the overnight incident that saw a life lost near our school. We are grieving with our community over another senseless act of violence. Our campus is safe and secure as we continue to do everything we can to support our students, families, and the entire Akron community.’
Police said Liming was riding around with his friends when one or two of them reportedly used this Splatrball Water Bead Blaster and shot a group of males which led to the fight
Akron Public Schools Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack sent an email faculty and staff the day after the incident that read:
‘Our Akron Public Schools family expresses its deepest condolences and offers its prayers to the family and friends of a student who lost his life last night. We mourn as one for Ethan Liming, a 17 year old rising senior at Firestone Community Learning Center. Ethan was a student leader at his school and was in the Academy of Design there.
The death of a student affects all of Akron Public Schools. Ethan’s passing is, sadly, one of many we have experienced during this school year. May we all pause a moment from our daily pressures to give thanks for the lives of these children. May we forever find ways to keep our memories of them alive. Each of these losses reminds us about how precious, and sometimes floating, life can be.
Our crisis team is assisting staff at Firestone CLC and, as always, will make themselves available to students.’