Herald Staff Writer
Barberton Elementary School East locked down after classes May 11, delaying dismissal as police worked the scene of a gunshot in a parking lot across the street.
No one was injured and the suspect had fled before police arrived. Police are looking for Vernall Robinson, 27, of Akron. An ex-convict, Robinson is wanted in this instance for felony domestic violence, having weapons under disability, discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises, improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and felonious assault.
Police got a call of gunfire near the school around 3:20 p.m. and a patrol officer was on scene within minutes.
“A parent called the school and said there might have been shots outside the building,” Superintendent Jeffrey Ramnytz told The Herald.
Ramnytz said Principal Matt Saunders made the decision to hold dismissal and went outside to talk to police. As the suspect had already fled the scene, officers gave the all-clear to dismiss. In all, the kids were held back about four minutes, police say.
According to police, a woman and her husband were waiting in a parking lot across Third Street Southeast from the school to retrieve the woman’s daughter. Robinson, the woman’s ex, showed up and approached the car. Witnesses say there was a heated exchange and Robinson fired one shot into the car, not hitting either person, and then got into his white Jeep and fled north on Third Street.
A short time later, police found the vehicle and discovered it had been reported stolen from Fred Martin Superstore. The dealership said a woman rented it and never returned it. Police spoke to that woman, who said she traded it to Robinson for drugs.
Robinson is 5-foot-9, 200 pounds and was believed to be heading to Akron. Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call 330-745-2181.