On June 2, 17-year-old Ethan Liming was found dead in the parking lot of the I Promise School in Akron.
The U.S. Marshals Service on Saturday announced that authorities had arrested three men in connection with the killing: 21-year-old Donovon Jones, 20-year-old Deshawn Stafford Jr. and 19-year-old Tyler Stafford.
Investigators believe that Liming was fatally beaten at about 10:46 p.m. on June 2. Police found his body on the pavement of a parking lot near the school, where he was pronounced dead.
Leading up to the incident, Liming was allegedly driving around the city with his friends shooting a SplatRBall gun at passersby. The guns shoot tiny water-based gel beads.
“I am happy to report that today, officers with the Akron Police Department, made several arrests in connection with the death of Ethan Liming. We thank the members of the community for their outpouring of support that helped investigators throughout this investigation,” Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said in a press release, according to WKYC-TV.
“While I believe the news of the arrests will be welcomed by Ethan’s family and loved ones, we all recognize that nothing will bring Ethan back. Violence in this country must stop. We are losing too many lives to senseless acts of violence.”
Dan Horrigan, the mayor of Akron, said in a statement that Liming’s “senseless and tragic death has touched every person in our community,” according to WOIO-TV.
He added: “My thoughts and prayers remain with the entire Liming family at this time.”
After driving around, Liming and his friends drove to a basketball court, where they allegedly fired the water gun at the people using the courts, which police say may have provoked the suspects who beat Liming.
Authorities had offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Liming’s death.
Liming’s parents described their son as a kind and loving person in an interview with WEWS-TV.
“We miss our child. We would do anything we could possibly do to turn the clock back and have him in my arms again. And to see his face again, but they robbed me of even that ability. And they destroyed my child’s face and his head,” Bill Liming told the television station.
“And people think that he deserved—people keep saying, ‘Oh, you do these things and you deserve you get what you deserve.’ I don’t think anybody’s child would ever deserve what happened to him. Nobody’s child would deserve what they did to my child.”