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Published: 7/6/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledo gun violence takes another life

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A memorial has sprung up near the site where Marquan McCuin was killed in an alley behind the 1100 block of Gordon Street early Sunday. A warrant has been issued in the case. The blade/ Amy E. Voigt A memorial has sprung up near the site where Marquan McCuin was killed in an alley behind the 1100 block of Gordon Street early Sunday. A warrant has been issued in the case. The blade/ Amy E. Voigt
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For more than 30 hours, Tenekia Tucker-Daniels sat in Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, spending as much time as she could next to her husband, begging him to get better.

But around 3:30 Tuesday morning, Eric Daniels, 40, died of a gunshot wound he sustained around 7:50 p.m. Sunday while at an impromptu car show in a parking lot at Monroe Street and Detroit Avenue.

Mrs. Daniels, 38, went home alone; she had hoped to leave with her husband.

Mr. Daniels' death is the 10th homicide in Toledo this year and the second in July.

Marquan McCuin, 18, was shot and killed in an alley behind the 1100 block of Gordon Street just after 1 a.m. Sunday, police said. He was shot once and the bullet pierced his lung, according to the Lucas County Coroner's Office.

Since July 1, at least seven people, including Mr. Daniels and Mr. McCuin have been shot within the city limits. The gun violence in Toledo seemed to start on June 1. Throughout that entire month, 27 people were shot, and one, 17-year-old Montelle Taylor, was killed.

In unrelated incidents only minutes apart Monday and Tuesday, a man and woman were shot in central Toledo, police said.

Travis Bell, 18, was shot in the face around 11:55 p.m. Monday at Upton Avenue and Fremont Street. He was taken to Toledo Hospital, where a spokesman said Tuesday night there was no information on a patient by that name.

Marquan McCuin, shown in a photo when he was about 11 years old, left, had been receiving threats, relatives said. Eric Daniels, 40, was shot while at an impromptu car show. Marquan McCuin, shown in a photo when he was about 11 years old, left, had been receiving threats, relatives said. Eric Daniels, 40, was shot while at an impromptu car show.
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Stefanique Cox, 21, was shot in the side around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday at 2203 Kent Street, in the Moody Manor apartment complex, police said.

She was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition Tuesday night.

The violent start to summer prompted Gerald Rose, a Georgia-based activist who grew up in Toledo, to visit his hometown to urge youths to "put down the pistol and pick up the pencil."

Mr. Rose, of the New Order National Human Rights Organization, said Toledo is "in a state of emergency."

After he arrived in the city at 2 a.m. Saturday, the first thing he did was to check the news -- and found more shootings.

"There's too much hatred in Toledo," he said. "Too much jealousy."

Mr. Rose is to be in Toledo until Thursday, when he is to leave for Cleveland. During his stay, he is visiting public housing projects, asking residents what he and the organization can do to make the neighborhoods safer and how he can reach out to troubled young people.

On Sunday he was at the Greenbelt Apartments on Cherry Street and Greenbelt Parkway. Tuesday he spent the early afternoon at Moody Manor on Kent Street.

There he met 11-year-old Qwa Evans, whose 16-year-old stepbrother was shot in the back Monday.

"All these gangs, I don't like that," young Evans said, crying.

Gerald Rose tears up as he speaks at Moody Manor during a visit to his hometown prompted by the recent violence. Mr. Rose, who lives in Georgia, said Tuesday Toledo is in a 'state of emergency.' Gerald Rose tears up as he speaks at Moody Manor during a visit to his hometown prompted by the recent violence. Mr. Rose, who lives in Georgia, said Tuesday Toledo is in a 'state of emergency.'
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'To save one child'

Mr. Rose told the boy and 17-year-old Demarrio Knight that he would take them out Wednesday to hang out.

"I'm here to save one child," Mr. Rose said.

Of the three shootings that resulted in homicides this summer, police have named only one suspect.

Tuesday afternoon, Toledo police issued an arrest warrant for Gerald Banks, 18, charging him with fatally shooting Mr. McCuin.

The warrant lists Mr. Banks' address as 225 Mozart St., in South Toledo. The warrant alleges that Mr. Banks purposely shot Mr. McCuin on July 3. Mr. Banks has not been arrested.

Deborah Banks, 54, said she has not heard from or seen her nephew in a month.

Standing on the porch of her home on the outskirts of the Old West End, she adjusted her gold necklace and said she raised Mr. Banks, one of five children, from the time he was a year old.

She saw her nephew's face on television and it shook her.

"I did the best I could," she said, her eyes filled with tears.

Gerald Banks, 18, is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder for the shooting death of Marquan McCuin. Gerald Banks, 18, is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder for the shooting death of Marquan McCuin.
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"It's these kids. These kids killing kids," she added. "And for what? These kids killing kids and for what?"

Ms. Banks said her nephew's father died when he was a baby and that his mother and siblings still lived in Toledo. She wasn't sure if he would turn himself in, but said he was "probably out there scared and nervous."

Never heard the name

When Mr. McCuin's sister Michelle Haskins, 21, learned that police had named a suspect, she sat still for a moment, her two young daughters coming out from their Daniels Avenue home and resting their hands on her lap.

"Gerald Banks, Gerald Banks, Gerald Banks," she said, turning the name over in her mind, trying to pull it from her memory.

She said she'd never heard the name but is convinced that her brother knew the person who shot him.

Police say the shooting was not gang-related.

Family members have said that Mr. McCuin was riding his bike home from the nearby 7-Eleven where he had just bought snacks when he was gunned down. He was less than one block from home.

The slain man's family also said Mr. McCuin had received threats for more than four weeks regarding a stolen firearm. They maintain he was wrongfully accused of stealing the gun.

Hours before Mr. McCuin was killed, the Western Avenue Market, just across the street from the 7-Eleven, was robbed at gunpoint by a man in his 20s wearing a black T-shirt, police said. The man fled on a bicycle, according to witnesses.

Tenekia Tucker-Daniels buries her head in her hands surrounded by her sister Trina McCluney, left, cousin Mahlayka Edwards, and daughter Jacoyia Grinter. Ms. Daniels never left the side of her husband, Eric Daniels, as he fought for his life. Thursday would have been their five-month anniversary. Tenekia Tucker-Daniels buries her head in her hands surrounded by her sister Trina McCluney, left, cousin Mahlayka Edwards, and daughter Jacoyia Grinter. Ms. Daniels never left the side of her husband, Eric Daniels, as he fought for his life. Thursday would have been their five-month anniversary.
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A sad vigil

In central Toledo, Mrs. Daniels sat in a chair on the front porch of her home Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by family, her face buried in her hands. She sobbed.

Thursday would have been her five-month wedding anniversary.

She and Mr. Daniels, who worked for 7-Up for 10 years as a truck driver, met almost nine years ago -- they were neighbors turned best friends turned husband and wife.

During his entire stay at Mercy St. Vincent, she never left. Her mother brought her changes of clothing and, during the visiting hours in the intensive care unit, she would visit her husband.

She called them dates.

I love you, she would say. She told him that his mother was on her way from Arkansas.

She needed him to get better.

"He owed me a romantic evening after losing a bet," she said. A smile crept across her face.

She was at work when one of Mr. Daniels' friends called her and said he had been shot. By the time she reached the medical center, he was in surgery.

The father of two boys, ages 18 and 11, "had a great smile," she said.

He was also like a father to Mrs. Daniels' three children, especially her youngest, 15-year-old Jacoyia Grinter.

Miss Grinter said Mr. Daniels treated her like a princess -- she "was his little girl."

"I wanted to give him a kiss and make it all better," Mrs. Daniels said, crying. "People always say you don't know what it's like until you walk in those shoes. … I don't want these shoes. I'd rather walk barefoot if these are the shoes I have to wear. … They don't even realize what they took."

In the days and weeks that follow, Mrs. Daniels knows coping with her husband's death will be a struggle. Every day she'll wait, looking outside and hoping she'll wake up from this nightmare.

"I want him to come up on the porch and say 'I'm just playing' " she said.

RELATED CONTENT: The Blade 2011 Homicide Report

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com or 419-724-6054.



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