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‘A tragedy:’ Suspect apprehended in connection with death of 4-year-old girl

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CLEVELAND -- Darnell Bitting, 31, is facing murder and weapons charges in connection with the death of a 4-year-old girl in Akron, Ohio.

"May her soul rest in peace," Tika Graham said.

A makeshift memorial with balloons and stuffed animals was placed in front of a home on Mercer Ave. in Akron after the girl was shot and killed Friday night, Feb. 16.

"I've got a 4-year-old son. I couldn't imagine what the mom is going through. I just wanted to drop by and pay my respects to the family as well as the 4-year-old. I couldn't imagine. I couldn't imagine," Graham said.

Bitting was arrested by police and US Marshals Saturday afternoon after a relative's vehicle, filled with weapons, body armor and even a hand grenade was found. US Marshals said the discovery of that vehicle aided in tracking down the suspect, who was at large since the shooting.

Police say the shooting happened after an altercation between Bitting and the 4-year-old girl's mother. The woman told investigators she'd been breaking out windows in the home to retrieve some property, and that's when the suspect allegedly came out of the home with a rifle and shot once at her vehicle.

"Just a tragedy, a 4-year-old getting hit by bullets..." Eddie Williams said.

Four children and their grandmother were inside the vehicle at the time. The grandmother drove to Akron Children's Hospital, where the 4-year-old girl died, police said.

The tragedy brought people together from across the city.

"Just paying my respects. I don't know the family. I didn't know the baby, but just here to pay respects," Williams said.

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