How a beekeeper helped Akron police discover the suspect in a Lyft driver’s dying

How a beekeeper helped Akron police find the suspect in a Lyft driver's death

2021-05-08 12:01:18

AKRON, Ohio — A beekeeper for a dozen years, Sarah Smithers was tending to a few of her honey bees round 5 p.m. Sunday when she was startled by the sound of gunshots on East Buchtel Avenue in Akron.

‘It was like, ‘What the hell?'” Smithers stated. “I noticed a dude with a gun taking pictures.”

What Smithers did not notice on the time was that the gunfire killed 48-year-old Kristopher Roukey, a Lyft driver and a married father of two from Hudson.

Courtesy of household.

Kristopher Roukey

Smithers, who was sporting half of her white bee go well with, stood out and feared she might turn into the following taking pictures sufferer so she rapidly took steps to guard herself.

“I backed the hell up,” she stated.

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Bob Jones / Information 5

Sarah Smithers recounts how she heard photographs fired and took pictures of a homicide suspect in Akron.

Smithers took cowl behind some timber after which grabbed her cellphone. She took 4 footage of the suspect as he walked down the road.

“There was loads of adrenaline. I’ll say that a lot. I did not know if he was gonna shoot me too, so I am taking footage as quick as I can and backing up,” Smithers instructed Information 5. “Shoot any individual in broad daylight and simply stroll away? I imply, get him!”

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Bob Jones / Information 5

Sarah Smithers took 4 footage of what would change into the suspect within the homicide of a Lyft Driver in Akron.

Smithers then known as 911 and in a peaceful voice detailed what she witnessed.

“I simply noticed a man shoot at a automobile as he walked down the road after which he simply put it in his pocket and simply saved strolling. I obtained an image of him,” she instructed the operator.

She additionally instructed the operator that the person was sporting a blue hoodie and a blue masks and was heading west on Buchtel.

“Then I observed all of the cops coming round so I flagged one down and confirmed them the images on my cellphone simply to get a greater description in order that they’d know precisely what they had been taking a look at,” Smithers defined.


Sarah Smithers

One of many pictures Sarah Smithers took of the homicide suspect.

The following day, police arrested their suspect, 23-year-old Kahlyl Powe, in the identical neighborhood. Police stated Powe was a passenger in Roukey’s automobile and shot the driving force after getting of the automobile. Detectives haven’t talked about a motive.

RELATED: 23-year-old arrested in connection to Sunday taking pictures in Akron

Powe has pleaded not responsible to homicide and is being held within the Summit County Jail on a $1 million bond.

RELATED: Bond set at $1 million for suspect in taking pictures dying of ride-share driver from Hudson

Akron police stated the efforts of the beekeeper-turned-witness made a giant distinction within the early phases of the investigation. Lt. Michael Miller believes Powe is the person Smithers photographed.

“I believe it is immeasurable from the standpoint it actually dictated the momentum, the early momentum that the investigation took,” Miller stated.

Miller stated the division intends to speak to Summit County Crimestoppers to debate the opportunity of giving Smithers a reward for her position in serving to police remedy the high-profile homicide.

“Undeniably, her data did help us enormously,” Miller stated.

Smithers appreciates the reward consideration however confused that is not the purpose of what she did.

“I simply wished to ensure the cops had each data I might consider to search out him as quick as they may,” she stated.

With the suspect locked up, Smithers stated her ideas are with Roukey and getting justice for his household.

“It makes me actually blissful to know that possibly I had one thing in getting the man who did this,” she stated.

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