The teen student was identified as Ethan Liming and was discovered in a parking lot near the courts at about 10:45 p.m., the Akron Beacon Journal reported. His identity was confirmed by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police were dispatched after a 911 call in which Liming’s friends explained that they got involved in a fight with at least three other people who were also present at the court playing basketball.
Liming was “brutally assaulted” during the fight and knocked unconscious, according to police. His death is being investigated as a homicide.
Paramedics arriving on the scene found the teen unresponsive with injuries described as “severe.” At 11:05 p.m., officials pronounced Liming dead, the Journal reported.
According to an audio recording of the 911 call obtained by the newspaper, the dispatcher talked with Liming’s friend while also hearing other voices in the background. She then asked if they were involved in a fight.
“We’re at the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio,” the unidentified caller said. “Our friend just got knocked out. We don’t know what to do.”
The dispatcher asked if his friend was breathing and still conscious. The friend said Liming is breathing, but the dispatcher lost contact moments after and was unable to call back, with the call going to voicemail.
Liming has been described by Akron Public Schools (APS) as a rising senior and understudy pioneer at Firestone Community Learning Center in Akron. He is the fourth student to have died in just the past two weeks.
One of those students was a 15-year-old APS student, who was fatally shot in an altercation on May 24. Other deaths include a pair of siblings, who died in a house fire that same week.
The I Promise School was created through the Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James Family Foundation and is a piece of the Akron Public School District, with students from 3rd through 7th grades attending.
The LeBron James Family Foundation expressed its condolences on social media.
“Our community is everything to us. We were devastated to learn of the overnight incident that saw a life lost near our school,” the foundation wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
Relatives of the victim set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for Liming’s family and the teenager’s memorial. The page collected more than $11,000 on the first day.