Investigation continues into Friday's fatal West Toledo shooting


Toledo police continue to investigate the death of an Erie, Mich., man while another man charged with firing the fatal shot remains hospitalized.

Toledo police say William Axel IV, 20, of Erie, Mich., was fatally shot Friday while Eliakim Yates, 18, of Toledo, suffered at least one gunshot wound. Mr. Yates is charged with murder in Mr. Axel’s death, police said.

RELATED: The Blade’s 2018 homicide database

A 17-year-old boy, Kevin Dazell, is also accused of shooting Mr. Yates and is charged with felonious assault, police said. Mr. Yates suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, and the Dazell youth was not injured.

Toledo police said the three knew each other.

“They’re acquaintances and they had an argument, and it led to a shooting,” Toledo police spokesman Sgt. Kevan Toney said.

Police are investigating the nature of the dispute and whether drugs were a motive, Sergeant Toney said, adding police do not believe the incident was gang-related.

Mr. Axel’s community has rallied around him to show their support. 

Two former Mason Consolidated Schools classmates, Morgan Stark and Avery Michaeu, established a Go Fund Me page to send flowers to Mr. Axel’s funeral. They hoped to raise funds to send flowers to the family on behalf of Mr. Axel’s classmates, said Miss Stark. 

“Being in charge of our class and we go to such a small school, we build a relationship with everybody,” said Miss Stark, a 2016 graduate of the school. “Neither of us were close to Billy, but we still had that relationship. We probably talked to him every day. It’s heartbreaking in such a small community.”

The two women set out to raise $200, but as of Wednesday morning, the fund has raised nearly $2,000. Miss Stark said the additional funds will be sent to Mr. Axel’s family to assist with any additional costs. 

Donations can be made until Friday, Miss Stark said. 

Miss Stark described Mr. Axel as funny and sweet, and he was also athletic, she said. He played football, basketball and track. 

Officers responded about 1:12 p.m. Friday to the area of Reen and Fern drives in West Toledo on reports of a person shot.

Several witnesses told police they saw Mr. Yates with a sawed-off shotgun, according to an affidavit filed in Toledo Municipal Court. They said Mr. Yates approached a vehicle, occupied by Mr. Axel, and that Mr. Yates pointed the shotgun at Mr. Axel and fired.

A friend took Mr. Axel to Mercy Health St. Anne Hospital, where he died, police said.

According to preliminary reports by Lucas County Coroner’s Office, Mr. Axel’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to the neck.

When officers arrived at Reen and Fern drives, they found Mr. Yates suffering from a gunshot wound. He was treated at the scene and taken to ProMedica Toledo Hospital.

On Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said information for a patient under that name was not listed. Mr. Yates has not been booked in the Lucas County jail as of Tuesday. 

The Dazell youth, accused of shooting Mr. Yates, appeared Monday for a detention hearing in Lucas County Juvenile Court and will remain in custody at the Lucas County Juvenile Detention Center.

Separately, Mr. Yates has pending charges of assault and domestic violence in Toledo Municipal Court. He is accused of putting his girlfriend in a headlock and forcing her into a bathroom during an argument at a West Toledo home.

While inside the bathroom together, Mr. Yates shot himself in the head, according to a Toledo police report. Police responded to the home just after 1 p.m. Feb. 6.

Mr. Yates was taken to ProMedica Toledo Hospital and he survived his injuries, police said.

Bond was set in Toledo Municipal Court at $25,000, but it was later posted.

A phone number listed for Mr. Yates’ attorney handling this case was disconnected.

The case is scheduled for a trial on March 14 in Toledo Municipal Court.

A message was also left for Mr. Axel’s family. 

Anyone with information regarding Friday’s homicide should contact the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Contact Allison Reamer at:, 419-724-6506, or on Twitter @AllisonRBlade.