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Published: Sunday, 7/31/2005

N. Toledo youth, 16, dies after being shot in head

A North Toledo teenager died in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center yesterday 16 hours after being shot in the head by a bullet that came through the rear window of an automobile, authorities said.

Justin Bernal, 16, was pronounced dead at 4:43 p.m. The autopsy is tentatively scheduled for today, Dr. Diane Barnett, a Lucas County deputy coroner, said.

Detective Robert Schroeder, who was investigating the shooting, said yesterday there were conflicting reports about the events that led up to the shooting in the vicinity of Chase and Ohio streets.

At 12:45 a.m., the Bernal youth, a passenger in an automobile heading north on Chase, was struck by the bullet. He and others in that automobile had been in an altercation with other juveniles, according to police.

Detective Schroeder said events preceding the shooting involved 15 to 30 people, "depending upon whom you talk to." Most were in their teens and 20s.

The detective said he and other investigators interviewed as many of them as could be located.

Police were still looking for the gunman last night.

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