By editor Kathy Wray Coleman
CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio- A 17-year-old Cleveland teen was shot and killed Sunday, Feb 19 on the playground of Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School on the city's largely Black east side, just two streets over and less than a half a mile from where murdered 14-year-old teen Alianna DeFreeze went missing last month.
Both victims were Black.
Devin Price (pictured), 17, died Sunday night at University Hospitals after being shot at about 6:15 pm that day at the school at 3500 East 147th Street near Kinsman Avenue in the Kinsman-Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
Police said Sunday that Price was shot in the stomach and that they have no suspects, the 15th homicide this year, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.
Alianna's body was discovered by police three weeks ago in an abandoned home at the the 9400 block of Fullmer Avenue
She was last seen Jan 26 at the 3400 block of East 149th Street when she was getting off a Regional Transit Authority bus headed to school, less than six blocks from A. J. Rickoff school.
Sex offender Christopher Whitaker, 44 and of South Euclid, is in custody on a $three million bond in DeFreeze's death and has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including kidnapping and aggravated murder.
Homicides are on the rise in the majority Black major American city, which is led by three-term Black Mayor Frank Jackson, who, this year, is seeking reelection to an unprecedented fourth term
Cleveland recorded 168 homicides in 2016, the deadliest year in decades, and up 13 percent from 2015, though neighboring suburbs also saw increases, mainly due, like Cleveland, to heroin and opiate overdoses on the rise.
Both Price and DeFreeze, who was allegedly bludgeon to death, were murdered in Ward 2, which is represented by city councilman Zack Reed, a vocal critic of the mayor and a possible mayoral contender for the non-partisan race with a June 29 deadline for submitting nominating petitions.
In addition to Jackson, other high profile contenders that have announced they will run for mayor include Ward 10 Councilman Jeff Johnson, former East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer, and Edwins restaurant CEO Brandon Chrostowski, who is White but is gaining momentum among blacks for his hiring of ex-offenders that he says deserve a "second chance."
All 17 city council seats are also up for grabs this year with a Sept 12 non-partisan primary for both mayor and city council and a Nov 7 general election for the two top vote- getters.