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On June 7, Stephanie Richardson's world was shaken.
Her 16-year-old son Arthur Richardson -- a member of the Scott High School marching band who was, at least once, voted student of the month -- was shot, the bullet lodging near his hip bone.
She thanked God it wasn't worse.
Although Arthur is still recovering, Toledo police have not arrested anyone in the shooting, and that makes Ms. Richardson uneasy.
"[Arthur] said it was random, but you never know who has an underlying issue with you," Ms. Richardson said. She says she's afraid that whoever fired at her son will come back and try to kill him.
During the month of June, 27 people were shot -- one fatally wounded. The violent month prompted Toledo police to take action, creating a gun task force and offering reward incentives for anyone with information that could lead to arrests in two of the most heinous shootings and for illegal gun possession.
Despite the incentives, police have arrested and charged only four suspects.
Corey Thomas, 25, was charged with shooting Bradley McLargin, 22, in the arm at 3:30 a.m. on June 5 in the Cottage Inn parking lot at 240 West Alexis Ave. He was released on his own recognizance from the Lucas County jail on June 15, according to court records.
Craig Jones, 51, was charged with shooting Dantana Cunningham, 18, in the 500 block of Carlton Street about 5:40 p.m. on June 10. The charges were dropped by the Toledo Municipal Court prosecutor.
Terrance Allen, 19, was arrested and charged with shooting Terrance Butler, 42, in the thigh and the foot at North Detroit Avenue and Vance Street at about 5:20 p.m. on June 21. Mr. Allen is being held in the Lucas County jail on a $200,000 bond on one count of felonious assault.
Matthew Smith, 27, was charged with shooting his "childhood friend" Anthony Adams, 29, in the leg at about 12:45 a.m. on June 26, court documents show. Smith is being held in the county jail on two counts of felonious assault on a $200,000 bond.
Toledo police Capt. Wes Bombrys would not say whether suspects have been identified in other cases.
The recent cases have been more difficult than in times past because of uncooperative victims, the captain said. He could not say why the victims were not cooperating with police, only that it made the investigations more difficult.
Toledo police Chief Mike Navarre announced incentives worth $2,500 for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in two of the city's most troubling shootings -- a shootout on Ranch Drive in West Toledo that left four wounded during a high school graduation party and gunfire at West Bancroft Street and Sylvan Avenue after which police found more than 60 shell casings.
Even with the possible reward, there haven't been any more tips coming into the Crime Stopper tip line than usual, Captain Bombrys said.
In the shooting at West Bancroft and Sylvan, police are looking for at least four shooters -- and there could be at least three or four from the Ranch incident.
Ms. Richardson said she hasn't been contacted by police since the shooting. She's concerned there isn't an ongoing investigation because she will not allow doctors to extract the bullet from her son's hip. Arthur's orthopedic doctor told her that, if the bullet is removed, there's a chance he could become disabled, ruining the bass drum player's senior year. If they leave the bullet alone, it should stay in place and he will be OK, she said.
Arthur was having his hair braided at a friend's house three doors down from where his aunt lives in the 700 block of Nebraska Avenue.
It was just after 12:30 a.m., time for the teen to head home, so he went to his aunt's house and knocked on the door. Just as she was ready to open the door, there was a pop, Ms. Richardson said.
Arthur had been shot. He ran into the house bleeding.
Ms. Richardson said her 5-year-old and 12-year-old children heard her say she had to go to the hospital to meet Arthur, and hearing that was deeply troubling for her younger children, she said.
"My 5-year-old, every time someone goes outside, he says, 'Don't go out late. You might get shot,' " Ms. Richardson said.
"It's taken away his innocence. I wish I could say the police have the person who did it, but I can't even tell my kids that. I can't tell Arthur's 12-year-old brother that they've got the bad guys because they don't."
She hopes whoever shot her son is caught and that all the violence in the city comes to an end.
"Put down the guns and go to school. Do something other than [the violence]," she said. "It's not worth it. They're going to end up dead or in jail. That's the ultimate."
Contact Taylor Dungjen at: email@example.com or 419-724-6054.