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Published: Sunday, 7/6/2003

Friend: Victim sought new path

The victim of a fatal shooting two days ago was trying to turn his life around at the time of his death, a friend said yesterday.

Toledo police have made no arrests in the slaying of Corey Schwartz, 25, who was found dead Friday at his home.

Mr. Schwartz died from two gunshot wounds in his face, said Dr. Cynthia Beisser, deputy Lucas County coroner.

He died in the early morning and was found about 1 p.m. at his upstairs apartment, 847 1/2 West Delaware Ave., she said.

Childhood friend Andrea Johnson said she saw him the day before he died.

“I talked to him that night,” Ms. Johnson said. “He seemed so at peace with himself.”

Ms. Johnson said Mr. Schwartz had been living out of town with a relative until about a month ago, when he moved onto West Delaware, just a few blocks from her house. After his move, the two rekindled their friendship.

“He turned out to be a very nice young man,” she said. “I just started seeing him again, and now he's gone.”

Toledo police Sgt. Greg Smith said officers conducted interviews yesterday, but they have not identified likely suspects.

Police are not treating the shooting as gang-related, but they are not ruling out the possibility, Sgt. Smith said.

“I believe [Mr. Schwartz] had affiliations with gangs at one time,” he said.

Ms. Johnson said Mr. Schwartz was involved with gangs as a teenager, but had given up that lifestyle long ago.

“He told me he was looking for a decent job and talked to me about taking classes at night school,” she said. “Everything was going so well and he was thinking so positive. I don't know how someone could have done this to him.”

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