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Shooting Death Is Gary’s 43rd Homicide, Tying Last Year’s Total

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GARY, Ind. (STMW) – An argument outside the Blue Room early Monday led to gunfire, leaving a Gary man dead and his alleged killer in custody.

Investigators said they expect that the suspect, a 29-year-old Gary man, likely will be released sometime Tuesday without being charged in the shooting, after Lake County prosecutors review the evidence.

Witnesses said the shooter fired at Jerome Williams, 35, as Williams aimed his car at the man during the altercation. Williams, of the 2600 block of Harrison Street, was pronounced dead after Lake County deputy coroners arrived at the 500 block of W. 16th Avenue about 2:20 a.m. He was behind the wheel of his sister’s black Pontiac Grand Prix and tried to run over the shooter, who discharged his weapon in self-defense, police said.

Williams was struck by several bullets. Witnesses said Williams was extremely intoxicated and first argued with a security guard, then the bar customer standing outside the Blue Room, according to police.

Williams is the 43rd homicide of the year, tying the total number of homicides recorded in Gary in 2012.

The increase in violent deaths prompted Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson to seek help from the state. In July, she requested 60 Indiana State Troopers to join Gary police and help patrol the streets.

Gov. Mike Pence responded by sending an assessment team to study police department operations. The 13-page report was released Oct. 3, and suggested several internal changes. One was to move officers into patrol from other assignments to increase police visibility.

Last week, the department began notifying officers of their transfers, but so far most of those men and women who are being moved are ranking officers, including captains and lieutenants.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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