LeBron James and his former Ohio NBA team are demanding justice for Ericka Weems, the 37-year-old sister of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ director of scouting who was found fatally shot in her home Monday afternoon.
Akron Police say Weems was found in her bedroom around 3 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head. While authorities have not identified any suspects in the case, Akron’s Summit County Medical Examiner ruled the case a homicide.
“AKRON OHIO!! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her home! My brother family need answers to why and by whom,” the Los Angeles Laker star tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “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!”
Family members say Weems was last seen at her parents’ home on Saturday night. When Weems didn’t show up to a family friend’s home on Monday to watch a child, the friend called her sister, Shermaine Weems-Reed, who went by her home with her husband. There, the couple found Weems in the upstairs bedroom and called authorities.
“I just knew in my heart something was wrong and it was,” Weems-Reed told News 5 Cleveland
Weems, who previously owned a daycare center in Columbus, Ohio, was the sister of Brandon Weems, the director of scouting for the Cleveland NBA team that first drafted James in 2003. According to ESPN, James and Weems grew up together in Akron and remained close friends in high school, where they both played on the nationally ranked basketball team at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s.
“She had a passion and love for children,” Brandon Weems, 33, said. “She could get kids to say and do things that even their parents couldn’t do.”
Weems’ mother, Brenda Lewis-Weems, was James’ godmother and died shortly before the NBA star’s first playoff debut in 2006. James and Weems have always circled one another in the NBA world. After coaching college basketball at the University of Kentucky, Drexel University, and Oakland University, Weems was hired by the Cleveland Cavaliers as a scout in 2015, before he was promoted to director of scouting in 2017. In 2018, James left Cleveland to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Since joining the Lakers, James has become a leading force in encouraging the team to take a stand against police brutality and racial injustice, especially amid nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“The entire Cavaliers organization was saddened to learn about the recent tragic death of Brandon Weems’ sister Ericka,” the Cleveland Cavaliers said in a statement on Twitter. “Our hearts are heavy and full of pain over this senseless act. We express our deepest condolences to Brandon, the entire Weems family, their loved ones, and the Akron community. We will be with Brandon throughout the extremely difficult time and will offer our assistance and resources to help find justice for Ericka.”