Please report any information so this family can have closure. Come forward with any information for justice for this family. Someone has to come forward or the killers will remain on the streets and continue to hurt our children. See below for more info.
AKRON, Ohio — Shoskamika Risper is facing the agonizing hurt of losing a daughter for the third time in nine years.
“I try not to question God, but I do want to know why. This is heartbreaking,” Risper said. Her 8-year-old daughter, Mikayla Pickett, was shot and killed during a teen birthday party Friday night on Roselle Avenue in Akron. The girl, described by her mother as a happy and lovable kid with a bright personality. “She liked to dance and do gymnastics and everybody loved her,” Risper said. “Mikayla didn’t even get to grow up yet. She still had a lot to live for.”
Risper was at work Friday night when she received a phone call that her daughter had been shot. Risper was stunned because Mikayla was supposed to be at home one street over on Longview Avenue, but a babysitter decided to take the girl to the party.
Around 11:48 p.m., police received several 911 calls reporting shots fired in the backyard of a home in the 700 block or Roselle Avenue. Mikayla was rushed to Akron Children’s Hospital where she died. A 14-year-old girl was shot in the leg. She went to the same hospital with her parents and her injury is considered minor, police said. Lt. Michael Miller said detectives are following promising leads, but no one has been charged with the child’s killing.
Risper first dealt with the pain of losing a child in 2011 when her 3-month-old baby girl, Nadia, died from sudden infant death syndrome.
In 2017, Risper’s 16-year-old daughter, LaShae Johnson, died after the car she was riding in collided with an Akron fire truck.
Risper, who has a 13-year-old son and is five months pregnant with another boy, said losing Mikayla to gun violence is devastating. “They took my angel. That was my angel baby. That was the only girl I had left. She was supposed to be here right now.”
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Kenneth Ball are planning to stream a “community update” on the case Tuesday afternoon. Mikayla’s death marked the fifth homicide of a child this year.
Risper and other family members are pleading for anyone with information on the murder to contact police. “Please come forward,” said her cousin, Lynnette Williams. “We’re dying inside. Our family is hurting bad. She didn’t deserve it.” “I know someone knows something. They got to,” Risper added. “Please just come forward for me and my family.”
Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect.
Tipsters can remain anonymous when calling 330-434-COPS. People with information can also call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or text TIPSCO to 274637.