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Three suspects arrested in beating death of Akron teen near LeBron James' I Promise School

Anna Huntsman
Ideastream Public Media
On Wednesday, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett (second from left) showed a water gun similar to the one that appears to have provoked an altercation at the I Promise School June 2. From left: Mayor Dan Horrigan, Mylett, detective Capt. Chris Brewer, Chief City Prosecutor Craig Morgan.

The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force has arrested three people for the murder of 17-year-old Ethan Liming near the I Promise School’s basketball courts on West Market Street in Akron on June 2.

Deshawn Stafford Jr., 20, Tyler Stafford, 19, and Donovon Jones, 21 were arrested on Saturday for allegedly beating Liming to death in an incident that began with the shooting of a water gun, according to Akron police.

Earlier this week, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said Liming and three friends reportedly drove into the parking lot, where the suspects were playing basketball, and began shooting at the suspects with a 'Splat R Ball' toy gun. It held water-filled gel beads, and Mylett declined to say whether the suspects were hit or whether they may have thought the gun was shooting bullets or BBs.

Akron Police say the suspects on the court then allegedly confronted the individuals in the car and a fight broke out. It was unclear during Wednesday’s press conference where the other passengers in the car went, but Mylett said Liming was alone when beaten to death. He was slated to begin his senior year at Firestone Community Learning Center this fall.