Shooting in Franklin Township kills boy, 11

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

Portage County sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy in a Franklin Township residence Wednesday.

The alleged shooter is a 15-year-old juvenile, a relative of the victim, according to detective Lt. Greg Johnson.

"They are family. They're not brothers," he said. The boys were home alone Wednesday because Kent schools were closed due to the weather.

A source familiar with the investigation said the victim is A.J. Nicholson. Both Johnson and Sheriff David Doak refused to release the victim's name, citing his age and the ongoing investigation.

"It's a pretty sensitive matter," Doak said. "It's going to take a while to sort things out. It's nothing we're going to have resolved today."

The Portage County Coroner's Office referred all questions about the victim's identity to Doak's office. Coroner's Investigator Dave Harmon, who was at the scene Wednesday, said it wasn't clear if all of the victim's family members had been notified.

Detectives and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation worked at the scene Wednesday afternoon -- a green, raised ranch-style home with brown trim.

The front of the house was surrounded by yellow crime scene tape, and had a Kent School District "Rider Pride" sign stuck in the front lawn.

Doak said deputies responded to a report that an 11-year-old male had been shot at 695 Johnson Road just after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. He said the victim was dead upon their arrival.

Part of the investigation will be to determine whether the shooting was an accident or purposeful killing, and whether the firearm -- a handgun -- was properly secured in the residence, Johnson said.

The alleged shooter and his family are cooperating with investigators, he said.

"Considering all the emotions they're going through, your heart really goes out to them all," Johnson said.

Doak said his office is consulting with the Portage County Prosecutor's Office due to "some legal issues" involved in the case.

"In an incident like this, you want to have it reviewed," Johnson said.

An autopsy on the victim is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office in Akron today, he said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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  • Aj was one of my friends he will be missed dearly we all wore purple and wrote r.i.p Aj and wrote letters to his family in honour of him