Teen found shot in SUV is Gary`s first 2014 homicide

Teen found shot in SUV is Gary`s first 2014 homicide

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GARY, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A passerby called police late Monday morning after noticing a green Ford Explorer stopped in the middle of a northwest Indiana street.

Gary police arrived about 11:55 a.m. and found Tyrece Harris, 18, of Gary, dead behind the wheel of his green SUV at 8th and Matthews. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

The Ford was stopped facing west on the snow-covered road. While houses line the street north of 8th Avenue, to the south is a wooded area that stretches along train tracks.

Harris is the city's first homicide for 2014. By the end of 2013, Gary recorded 55 violent deaths, a marked increase over the prior year.

The windows of the SUV were intact, and crime scene investigators examined the truck for fingerprints and other evidence before it was towed to the crime lab in Crown Point.

Several residents in the neighborhood recognized the truck and knew the owner. As they watched police work the scene, two men tried to remember the last time they saw Harris.

On Monday, police throughout the Public Safety Facility and at the scene of the homicide complained that Chief Wade Ingram, in a comment to other media, gave credit to the brutal cold for the decline in criminal activity in January.

While veteran officers know that their jobs get slower in Arctic temps and busier during hot, summer nights, most police said the remark was demoralizing.

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