A large crowd was scattered near the Belmont Store at the corner of Belmont Avenue and Hoag Street in Toledo on Sunday afternoon after the shooting death of Frederick D. Watson, Jr. He had been found slumped over in a car a few blocks away early that morning.
Among the group was his aunt Linda Watson, seated on the porch at 1145 Belmont Ave. where she grew up and Mr. Watson, 20, lived with his grandmother, Gwen, two houses down from the convenience store.
Ms. Watson had one wish: that her nephew’s death not be in vain.
“All this violence needs to stop,” she said. “They’ve got gun buybacks, they’ve had cameras, but nothing has worked, so until we stop, get back to prayer, and get some peace so that we can work in a calm manner and address some of the issues and some of the concerns and desires of these people, we’re spinning our wheels.”
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That was the main message Ms. Watson wanted to get across when asked about Mr. Watson’s death. The retired schoolteacher said she did not know much about the shooting or what Mr. Watson was doing, and she hadn’t heard of any possible lead.
She was just fed up. Mr. Watson’s father was killed years ago, and the brother of a friend of Mr. Watson was murdered not too long ago, she said. Mr. Watson’s best friend, Quincy Allen, was recently charged with murder in the April 29 death of La’Quan Dunbar.
Instead of the continuing cycle of violence in the area, she wants change through church and community leaders coming together to ask for peace and prayer.
“Doing the same old thing is not working, and I’m not blaming anyone. I’m not saying the police are not doing their job,” she said. “I’m just saying that we have to get some peace. We need some peace, we need some love, and we need something to stop. It has to stop somewhere. Everyone can’t die.”
Toledo police said Mr. Watson was shot at the intersection of Avondale Avenue and Brown Avenue, just a few blocks from his house.
He was found slumped between the passenger’s and driver’s seats of a vehicle after police responded to a call of shots fired at 4:55 a.m., police said. He was taken to Toledo Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A police report said two possible witnesses were interviewed at the scene of Mr. Watson’s death, but no one has been taken into custody, Toledo police Sgt. Roy Kennedy said. He did not indicate whether there were any suspects.
A second person at the scene also was shot and transported to a local hospital, but Sergeant Kennedy said he believed his injuries were not life-threatening. The second victim’s name was not released by police Sunday evening. Sergeant Kennedy said he did not know the possible motive for the shootings.
According to past reports, Mr. Watson and Allen were indicted on aggravated robbery charges in a May 15 hold-up at a central Toledo gas station.
Police said Allen is affiliated with a Folks gang.
Ms. Watson said she did not think Mr. Watson was involved in a gang, despite his aggravated robbery charge and friendship with Allen.
“If he was, I knew nothing about it. ... It wasn’t anything overt or open,” she said.
But she was aware of the potential retribution from Mr. Watson’s friends and offered a plea.
“Please, anybody that’s thinking about retaliating, think again,” she said. “Don’t put any other families through what we’re going through. Enough is enough.”
Contact Sam Gans at: email@example.com or 419-724-6516.