Warren police identify victim of gun shots and crash - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren police identify victim of gun shots and crash

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WARREN, Ohio -

Warren Police identify the victim of a crash that left Summit Street closed for several hours late Wednesday night. 

Police say 34-year-old Larry Smith was found dead inside of a crashed vehicle with gunshot wounds. 

It's the latest violence in Warren. Police say Smith's death is city's 12th homicide of 2018, the highest number compared to the last four years. The city investigated nine homicide cases in 2014 and four cases in both 2015 and 2016.

Police say the crash is related to a series of gunshots that were heard just moments before, a short distance away on Southern Boulevard.

Officers didn't find anything when they went to check out the area near the Avon Oaks apartments, but they did learn a vehicle took off from the scene.

A few moments later, Warren Police received a call of a crash near the intersection of Summit Street and Mahoning Avenue.

Detectives say they're considering the apartment complex the crime scene in the investigation into Smith's death. While they've yet to name any suspects, police do have persons of interest.

"We definitely have some people to talk to, there's a lot of work still to be done in this investigation," Captain Rob Massucci said.

Massucci says they're waiting on autopsy results to officially determine if Smith died from gunshot wounds or the crash itself, but he did point out that the car Smith was driving had bullet holes on the side of it. It's not clear if Smith suffered the gunshots while he was inside or outside of the car.

A witness that lives across the street tells 21 News, Smith hit a white rental corral delivery truck and then pushed it into the porch of the house next door.

The witness rushed to help, that's when he said he saw four bullet holes on the front passenger window.

"We saw a big old cloud of dust and smoke. We come running out here, got out here, checked the guy. As we were doing that everybody starts pulling up, blocking the road and stuff, trying to keep people back away from the car and away from the scene. And there's four bullet holes in the front passenger window," said Chris Alsbrooks.

Summit Street at State Route 45 was closed in both directions for several hours due to the crash.

The Trumbull County Coroner's office says Smith's autopsy will be conducted on Saturday.

Massucci says the rise in homicides in the city this year is concerning and he's even more concerned, because the year is not over yet. 

He's hoping witnesses or the public can come forward to provide information that will help solve this case.

"It's one of these deals you just sit back and wait, just hope for the best cooperation, you know a lot of these cases hinge on that," he said.

Smith was no stranger to police. Massucci said he had a past with drug and violence in the city.

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