September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Vigil scheduled for Elyria shooting victim

ELYRIA — The words of Pastor Carl Small spoken Sunday, hours before a 48-year-old father of 11 was killed in Elyria, are serving as motivation for a prayer vigil set for today honoring the man.

Anthony “Tony” Coats died Sunday after being shot on Tattersal Court in Elyria.

Anthony “Tony” Coats died Sunday after being shot on Tattersal Court in Elyria.

The Rev. Mark Taylor, associate minister of Elyria’s Second Baptist Church, said he heard the words of his senior pastor hours before Anthony “Tony” Coats was shot in a car on Tattersal Court, not knowing that their meaning would soon take on more significance.

“Pastor Small talked about how the community has to quit just allowing things to happen and doing nothing about it,” Taylor said. “We are doing this to say as a community we will not stand for the senseless death of another. This is going back to our roots as a community and saturating each other with love and prayer.”

Residents are asked to gather at 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Mount Zion Baptist Church, 614 West River Road N. The crowd will then walk in unity to the nearby scene of the crime for a short prayer vigil.

Taylor, Small, community members and the Elyria NAACP are organizing the vigil.

“We don’t want killings, shootings and violence in our community,” Elyria NAACP President Betty Moody White said. “The loss of one life is one too many, but we have had two lives lost in our one week in our community.”

On Thursday, Lauren Moore, 26, was found in the Washington Avenue apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Vernon Shallenberger.

Shallenberger, 27, has been charged with murder.

Domestic violence is being blamed in Moore’s death, police Capt. Chris Costantino said police don’t have a motive for Coats’ killing.

Suspected shooter Tove Adams — who is also a registered sex offender — was arrested Monday afternoon. Adams, 42, has been charged with murder and felonious assault.

Costantino said Coats was shot after dropping off a female friend in the area. Costantino said investigators are working on the case but need information from the public to find a motive.

“I’m not in a position to say why this may have happened, but this was not a random act,” Costantino said. “These are two people who knew each other.”

After Coats was shot in front of 1 Tattersal Court, he drove about a block on West River Road North before crashing at West River and Lake Avenue. Recordings from a 911 call captured the chaos as frantic residents rushed to help a dying Coats inside the car.

“We need an ambulance. We don’t know if he’s alive,” a caller told a dispatcher. “Stay alive, man!”

Coats had attended one of his sons’ graduation from Elyria High School hours before being killed. Taylor said Coats’ family — including a fiancee, eight biological children and two stepchildren — are numb over the loss.

“One moment he was celebrating his son’s high school graduation, and the next, he was just gone,” he said. “They really don’t know where to turn.”

The family hopes the public will help pay funeral costs. Taylor said a bank account hasn’t been set up yet, but an offering will be taken at the vigil.

Reporter Evan Goodenow contributed to this story.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

  • solonggone

    ‘THE FAMILY HOPES THE PUBLIC WILL HELP PAY FOR THE FUNERAL’…figures.thats sad.why did this man not have insurance.It is not the publics responsibility to help pay for the funeral.It never fails-every time someone is killed in a act of violence,the family holds a fund raiser or requests the public help.If you die due to illness or natural causes,a fund raiser is not held of they don’t ask for donations.

    • Jessie Knight

      its not just the family it’s also his work place. He was a well-respected employee and an amazing father figure to a lot of our employees. Maybe you should think before you say shit some people are willing to hel;p this family out

      • solonggone

        That’s fine he was a well-respected employee & father figure to his employees.I said nothing about that.Angry..are you.Stop the cursing,its ok.

        • TRB SR.

          Everybody check out this jackal’s profanity laced comment from 4 days ago. You are one sick twist solonggone.

    • Char G.

      Very heartless and ignorant of you to say. Not everybody can afford insurance. Especially with raising a large family. If it was your loved one you would tried to raise the money for them to have a decent burial too! Tony was a great person!! And deserves nothing but the best!
      If you insensitive thing’s to say keep it to yourself!

      • solonggone

        Insurance is something important to have .Considering you just said he was raising a large family,i’m guess none of them have insurance either & LORD forbids anything happen to them,they’ll be asking the public to help bury them.You guys are putting words in my mouth because i said nothing about him being a bad person.

    • Shelby

      When my dad died because of natural causes/ illness we held a fundraiser… Not everyone can afford life insurance… And sometimes families just need it to get by for the next couple months…

    • Corie Hughes

      what’s wrong with helping people out?? Oh yea, I guess as a society we dont do that anymore…and we wonder why the world is the way it is….

  • Roe

    Anthony Coats was a father of 8 children and he did not drink or do drugs and was no angel by any means, but he did not deserve to die! He worked 2 jobs to support his family nad I’m sure if he could’ve afford life insurance he would’ve had it. If the community does not want to help, then dont. But don’t put down the family for reaching out and asking!

  • David France

    NAACP are organizing the vigil for a criminal. Man thats just peachy.

    • Deana Meadows

      He wasn’t a criminal….

      • David France

        Read Roe comment. What does it mean he was no angel?

        • Tari

          It means he had his faults, just like you and I do. No one is perfect and because you know nothing about this man, your comments are beyond ignorant.

    • TRB SR.

      Go downtown and talk that trash and see what happens next. But you probably don’t have the yarbles to do it.

  • Deana Meadows

    Tony will be truly missed. He is my daughters uncle and he was a good man. For those of you who choose to place judgement when you have no clue of the circumstance should be considerate enough of the family to keep your negative comments to yourself. This man was not doing anything illegal and didn’t deserve his fate. For those of your that do not want to donate DON”T …it’s that simple. Not everyone can afford life insurance. When you have no compassion for the families grieving…what does it say about you as a person.

    • David France

      Then why was he shot 4 times then.

      • Deana Meadows

        I believe you have nothing better to do but taunt people…get a life …if it was someone in your family I am sure you wouldn’t appreciate the crude comments you have made.

  • solonggone

    you guys really crack me up.No one deserves to die the way he did.Needless to say,it happens all the time.I am not putting down this man or knocking him.He is not the 1st person to die from being shot.If his job wants to help,fine.If the public wants to help,that fine also.I said nothing about him being a criminal,doing anything illegal or never was i talking down about him.Its funny because it if was some young black boys shooting up everywhere,you guys would have something negative to say.My post was nothing negative & you guys took it & ran with it.

  • Constance Coats

    I would like to say RIP to my uncle. This is the second loved one that I have lost to gun violence. I can only pray that the state of mind in our communities gets better. This horrendous incident hollows my heart but it is comforting to know that other posters have amicable anecdotes to share about my uncle. At least the memories lighten the atmosphere.

  • smttracy

    I know this man and his Brother is going to marry my Daughter, the word on the street now that he took his friend to the store and he was being set up to be robbed when he dropped her off, by a man that she knew and did not like him and no by saying he was no angel does not mean he was doing anything illegal he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as far as life ins. goes my husband passed away 12 years ago and had worked for the steel mill 30yrs. and when they closed they took his life ins. and he was so sick no one would insure him and if they would we couldn’t afford it by then and thank God his Nephew stepped in or I don’t know what we would have done with him, if any one help’s then God bless them it may be them or their family some day that might need it and it will come back around to them, this man worked 2 jobs and gave back and if this is a way for his family to say good bye then bless those who give because his kids didn’t get to see him at the hospital after he died, Tony doesn’t care if he has a funeral he is already gone this is for his family and kids.

  • Roynyelle Rowser

    and they do have a memorial fund set up with first merit bank any branch

  • Ashley Strimbu

    R.I.P TONY YOU WERE AND ARE AN AMAZING MAN YOU TOOK ME UNDER YOUR WING AND TOUGHT ME THINGS I NEEDED TO KNOW YOU WENT WAY OVER AND BEYOND TO HELP THOSE WHO NEEDED I AM SO SICKEN AND SAD THIS HAPPENED TO YOU I CAN ONLY HOPE THE MAN OR MEN WHO DID THIS GETS EVERY THING THATS COMING TO THEM!! TO CLEARNCE AND THE KIDS AND YOUR GIRLFRIEND YOU ALL ARE IN MY THOUGHT’S AND PRAYS JUST PLEASE KNOW THAT YOUR DAD AND OR UNCLE BROTHER WAS A REALLY GOOD MAN AND HAD A REALLY BIG HEART.. I WILL MISS YOU TONY ALL WAYS R.I.P

  • Ashley Strimbu

    TO THOSE OF YOU POSTING BAD CRAP ONE YOU DIDN’T KNOW THE MAN AND TWO YOU HAVE NO RIGHT A LOT OF PPL KNEW TONY AND KNEW HE WAS A GREAT MAN SO BACK THE HELL OFF FOR HIS FAMILY SAKE HAVE A HEART HIS KIDS JUST LOST THERE DAD HAVE A LITTLE RESPECT WOULD YA !!!

  • DeJonna N Williams

    Dude you are ignorant. How dare you. You don’t have to donate shit. First off this is my sisters father and secondly he was a good man. He didnt bother anyone. If anyone would like to help it is appreciated. Its hard lossing a father and for his fiancee to lose her other half and not knowing how to deal with this is hard especially because it was so sudden.