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Partiers flee after shooting leaves one dead near Kent

By DIANE SMITH Record-Courier reporter Published: May 7, 2017 12:55 PM
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More than 100 Franklin Township partygoers were "literally jumping out of windows" to escape a gathering that left one man shot dead early Saturday morning, a detective with the Portage County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office was called to a party shortly before midnight on May 5 at 7263 Route 43 when deputies heard gunshots coming from inside the multi-family home.

Jayquon Devione Tillman, 18, of Cleveland was taken to University Hospital Portage Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Kalin Cheyenne Lee, 20, of Columbus also was shot and was treated and released from Akron City Hospital, the sheriff's office said. A Kent State University spokeswoman confirmed that a woman with Lee's name is a student at the university.

Lt. Gregory Johnson of the sheriff's office said he is still investigating the incident, and investigators hope more information comes to light. No arrests have been made, and a suspect had not been identified as of Saturday evening, Johnson said.

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Preliminary details suggest the crowd, which Johnson conservatively estimated at 100 to 150, was relatively peaceful before the incident, and nobody felt threatened until the shooting took place "among a small group of men." Lee and Tillman were across the room from one another when the shooting took place, he said, and Lee is cooperating in the investigation.

"It's fortunate that this was not worse, considering the number of people that were there," Johnson said.

Once shots broke out, Johnson said, revelers were "literally climbing out of windows" to escape, and others were tramping other people in their haste to get out of the house.

"I guess when you hear gunshots, you're always worried that there's going to be more," he said.

Tillman was a sophomore at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., where he was a brother in the Delta Nu chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the Kings of Color organization. He also was a member of the Young Brother's Leadership Council of the Washtenaw County, Mich., My Brothers Keeper organization, according to the university.

"It is with the deepest of sympathy that we mourn the death of Jayquon Tillman," said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. "Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time of grief and sorrow. We stand by to offer whatever support the University can provide to all of those who cared for him and loved him."

Mike Halas, chief investigator with the Portage County Coroner's Office, said Tillman's body was sent to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office, where an autopsy will take place Monday. The cause and manner of death are pending, he said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to assist the sheriff's office in crowd control and securing the scene. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is helping process the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 330-296-5100, ext. 0.


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