Teenager Killed, 2 Others Hospitalized In Shooting Outside Iowa High School 12019/ Pixabay

Three men who have been charged for the killing of 17-year-old Ethan Liming on June 2 faced court for the first time. Donovan Jones, 21, Deshawn Stafford, 20, and 19-year-old Tyler Stafford all pleaded not guilty to charges of felonious assault and murder. Their initial trial was held on Monday at the Akron Municipal Court where each of them has been ordered to be held at the Summit County Jail on a bond of $1 million each.

According to Fox News, court documents that have been obtained further described in detail the violent incident that took place in the parking lot of the I Promise School on West Market Street. Defense attorney Jon Sinn said that Deshawn Stafford was playing basketball with his brother and cousin at the outdoor court by the school when a car had pulled up and aimed what they perceived was an automatic weapon. Sinn said the men initially ran in fear soon after the car occupants shot at them and got out of the car to pursue them.

Once they realized they were being shot at with a gel blaster, the group retaliated and ran after the other group. Both got into an altercation and Liming ended up getting punched badly enough that he fell back, hit his head on the ground, and died

A reward of $30,000 brought in enough tips that led authorities to the whereabouts of the three men. They were arrested over the weekend by the combined force of Akron police and the U.S. Marshal's Northern Ohio task force.

The defense argued that the trio merely acted in their defense after they were shot at with “hundreds and hundreds” of frozen liquid gel pellets from the SplatRBall gun blaster. Officials believe that Liming’s brutal death was not the result of a racially motivated killing but neither was it justified.

Donovan Jones is currently facing an additional charge of disrupting public service and was said to have a child on the way. He initially asked for the $500,000 bond however Judge Kimbler had set his bond at $1 million along with both Deshawn and Tyler Stafford.

Akron Police Chief Steve Mylet said in his statement, “While I believe the news of the arrests will be welcomed by Ethan’s family and loved ones, we all recognize that nothing will bring Ethan back. Violence in this country must stop. We are losing too many lives to senseless acts of violence.”

Liming will be laid to rest on Friday at 11 a.m. a the Montrose Zion Methodist Church. He was a senior at Firestone Community Learning Center, where he played football and baseball for the school’s teams.

A man reportedly shot and killed his female friend after she defeated him in a pick-up basketball game in South Dallas, Texas on Monday, Oct. 3. This is a representational image. VasilySukovatitsyn/ Pixabay