NBA Superstar LeBron James wants to solve the shooting death of his childhood friend’s sister, Ericka Weems, and is tapping his fanbase to search for her killer. James took to Twitter Wednesday to ask his 48.1 million followers for help in finding who fatally shot Weems, who was killed in her Akron, Ohio home, police said.
Weems, 37, the sister of Cleveland Cavaliers scouting director, Brandon Weems, was found unresponsive when police responded to a call at a home on 900 block of Hardest Blvd. on Monday. Weems had sustained apparent gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to Akron police department.
Summit County Medical Examiner Chief Investigator Gary Guenther told Inside Edition Digital that Weems had been shot three times in the head.
Weems' autopsy report is not yet complete, Guenther said. “We are still running toxicology reports. There was no bruising on the body found at this time,” he said. “We are waiting on the police investigation to get additional information for everything to be complete.”
Lt. Michael Miller said the case is active and ongoing. Although a motive or a suspect, or suspects, has not yet been identified, he is optimistic with the progress that is being made.
“We are optimistic that we will provide answers to the family and the community,” said Mitchell. “It won’t take the family’s pain away but will help give them closure,” Miller told Inside Edition Digital.
The Weems family is trying to make sense of how a woman so loved and devoted to others could be a target of a senseless crime.
"She's a spectacular person," said Ericka’s father Darrell Weems Sr., reported The Columbus Dispatch. "I don't know why anybody would want to hurt her.”
He said her daughter first ran a daycare in Columbus but moved back to Akron last year to be closer to family.
He told the newspaper that his daughter always wanted to help people. She volunteered to feed the homeless and turned her love of helping children into a career. He said that passion for helping others came from her mom, Brenda-Lewis-Weems, the Dispatch reported.
James and Brandon Weems, who James affectionately referred to as his “brother,” were teammates at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. The pair have stayed close. Weems was hired as a scout by the Cavaliers in 2015, shortly before James embarked on a season that ended with the franchise’s first NBA title, according to The Washington Post.
James' heartfelt tweet circulated all over social media and has caught national and international attention.
"AKRON OHIO!! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her home!" James tweeted. "My brother family need answers to why and by whom. My city I need y’all to go to work and find out who did this awful, shameful, disgusting thing to such a caring, loving angel!! Justice4EricaWeems”
Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman said in a statement that the team was thinking of Brandon and his family.
“The entire Cavaliers organization was terribly saddened to learn about the recent tragic death of Brandon Weems’ sister Ericka,” said Altman. “Our hearts are heavy and filled with pain over this senseless act. We express our deepest condolences to Brandon, the entire Weems family, their loved ones, and the Akron community.
James' celebrity has brought a greater level of attention in helping to solve the crime, and Miller expressed gratitude towards James that perhaps his involvement will prompt the public to get more involved in other cases.
“Investigations are difficult sometimes they take time," he said. "Any contributions and cooperation from the public, in this case, LeBron James, is always important in stimulating the conscience of a community to help during a violent crime.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip, or to call the Summit County Crime Stoppers, at 330-434-COPS. Anyone with information can also text TIPSCO to 274637. Tipsters can remain anonymous.