LeBron James made a public plea for help in the murder of his childhood friend’s sister, who was fatally shot in her home in Akron, Ohio, earlier this week.
Ericka Weems, 37, was found with a gunshot wound to her head in an upstairs bedroom around 3 p.m. Monday, News 5 in Cleveland reported. She was the sister of Brandon Weems, director of scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom James once called “my little brother.”
“AKRON OHIO!! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her home!” the Los Angeles Lakers star tweeted Wednesday to his more than 48 million followers.
“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!”
James and Brandon Weems grew up together in Akron, becoming friends at Pee Wee football at around 5 or 6 years old and going on to play basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary, MLive reported.
“I make sure I look out for him,” James said in 2015. “He’s my little brother.”
Ericka Weems graduated from Akron Buchtel High School and Ohio State University. Her case has been ruled a homicide.
“She just loved and cared about everybody. She had the biggest heart,” Brandon Weems told News 5. “I’m going to miss her dearly.”
Darrell Weems last saw his daughter on Saturday night.
“She left me about 9 o’clock. I told her to call me when she got home, and she never called. I called her all day Sunday. No answer,” he said.
Ericka Weems, who owned a daycare in Columbus but closed it and moved back home to Akron, was supposed to babysit for a pal on Monday but the friend couldn’t get in touch with her.
So the friend called Ericka Weems’ sister, Shermaine Weems-Reed, who made the grisly discovery inside the home on Hardesty Boulevard.
“I just knew in my heart something was wrong and it was,” Weems-Reed told the network.
Ericka Weems had been running a daycare out of her home that she’d moved into over the summer, her family said.
“She had a passion and love for children,” Brandon Weems said. “She could get kids to say and do things that even their parents couldn’t do.”
The case is under investigation. Police have no suspects.