Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Elyria 74°
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'Trying to get answers': Victim's friends, family gather at site of fatal police shooting

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    Makala Gilbert, right, and other community members have a peaceful protest seeking answers about Tuesday’s police shooting Sunday across the street from the Elyria police station.

    ANDREW DOLPH / CHRONICLE

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    A woman lights candles at a memorial in front of the Elyria Marathon station, Sunday, five days after a police involved shooting at the site. A vigil had been planned for 8:30 p.m., but was moved to the front of the Elyria Police Department.

    ANDREW DOLPH / CHRONICLE

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    A memorial can be seen from the front of the Elyria Marathon station, Sunday, five days after a police involved shooting at the site. A vigil had been planned for 8:30 p.m., but was moved to the front of the Elyria Police Department.

    ANDREW DOLPH / CHRONICLE

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    Christopher Austin chants "justice for Isaiah" as he and other members of the community demonstrate solidarity for the two men shot Tuesday in the parking lot of the East Avenue Marathon Station, Sunday.

    ANDREW DOLPH / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — A group of about a dozen people stood across West Avenue opposite the Elyria police station Sunday evening demanding justice for Isaiah Robinson, the man police fatally shot in Carlisle Township last week.

The crowd consisted mostly of friends and family of Robinson, speaking out against officers fatally shooting him Tuesday at the Marathon gas station on East Avenue.

Officers pulled over Robinson, 39, the owner of the vehicle, and Damon Battles, 39, at the gas station. Officers suspected the vehicle contained those involved at a shooting at an apartment on Park Meadow Lane. Police said an occupant pointed a weapon at officers, at which point police fired.

Robinson was taken to Mercy Health-Lorain Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Battles was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center and was released Wednesday.

Elyria native Christopher Austin, 31, now a resident of Cleveland, said he came to help provide protection and support the peaceful protest. The demonstrations, he said, have been happening in the same area ever since the shooting.

“We’re really trying to get answers right now, and we haven’t gotten to the point of (wanting to) prosecute the cops,” he said. “We’re to the point now where we’re like, ‘Give us the information you all have so we can have ease and move on.’”

Makala Gilbert, 18, of Elyria, a cousin of Robinson, led the protest at times with chants she spoke into a megaphone. Gilbert said she and the others aren’t advocating violence, only to voice that they feel upset about the shooting.

“We do have a right to speak what we feel, and we just want to let it be known that they can’t do this,” she said. “It’s not OK, and we need to make a difference, and we need people to stand up to this because it’s such a touchy subject.”

Gilbert said she and others who have spoken out about Robinson’s death have received a lot of negative feedback and nasty comments. She said she’s heard things like “get over it” or “he deserved what was coming to him” and even personal insults to her, including a racial slur. As terrible as the past week has been, she said, she still believes in standing up and voicing her opinion about the incident.

Julien Wildenheim, 19, who said he was a stepson of Robinson, gave a statement about the shooting in an email to The Chronicle-Telegram.

“He had his dark days, but he always showed us the sun. Not only have I lost a father, but I have lost one of the greatest teachers my life has been blessed with,” he wrote. “The moral cloth of America has been stained by the blood of yet another one of our fallen brothers.”

Wildenheim also asked the community to come together when “injustice attacks.”

Elyria police Capt. Christopher Costantino said the investigation of the incident is ongoing and he couldn’t disclose any new information.

He said those who gathered at the police station have every right to voice their concerns and feelings on the shooting.

“People have a right to peaceful protest, and to this point that’s how it’s been,” he said. “Once that investigation is completed, they’ll have the answers they’re looking for.”

Robinson’s funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Paul AME Church, 4118 Brookside Blvd., Cleveland. Visitation hours begin at 11 a.m. at the same location.

A GoFundMe account to help cover funeral expenses has been set up by Craig Robinson. At , Craig Robinson states he is Isaiah Robinson’s cousin. The page has raised $620 of its $1,500 goal as of Monday morning.

Contact Bruce Walton at 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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