Black Teen Fatally Shot At Stop Light Days After High School Graduation In Suspected Hate Crime

18-year-old Na’Kia Crawford was gunned down just days after her high school graduation. According to News 5 Cleveland, the teen was shot while waiting at a stoplight in Akron, Ohio on Sunday around 1:30 p.m.

The teen, who was inside of the vehicle with her grandmother at the time, sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Her grandmother was not injured in the shooting.

Crawford was transported to Akron City Hospital. She died the following morning. The attack appears to have been completely random and so far, no arrests have been made. According to reports, the suspect is a white male who fled in a black sports car with dark tinted windows. It has been speculated Crawford was targeted because she was Black.

On June 3, Crawford celebrated her high school graduation from North High School.

“We will never know what Na’Kia Crawford might have done in or after college. She is our second student in a week to die a violent death. The flame of her candle went out way too early,”  Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said in a statement  “To make it to her high school graduation, with plans for her future, especially during this difficult time of COVID-19, just stings that much more. The heartache is real for those of us left behind to pick up the pieces.

All of us at Akron Public Schools are feeling the loss of this young woman as we do when — all too often it seems — children’s lives are taken.

We pray for Na’Kia and her entire family, her fellow students at North High School, and the teachers and staff there as well. We offer our support to them in any way that is possible. What a terrible loss.

Akron Public Schools is offering support for grieving students and families. We ask those who need support in the wake of the death of Na’Kia Crawford to call North High School at 330.761.2665 to arrange for grief counseling.”

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