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Published: Monday, 12/14/2009

Teenager slain in South Toledo; police search for suspect

BY CHAUNCEY ALCORN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A 16-year-old was slain in South Toledo Sunday morning, the victim of a shooting that occurred in an upstairs room at 2132 South Ave.

The youth, identified by police as Luis Ruiz of South Toledo, was taken to Toledo Hospital shortly after midnight; he died about 45 minutes later.

Police have been searching for James A. "Jimmy" Leroux, 23, whom they identified as the suspected shooter. Authorities have a warrant for his arrest.

Mr. Leroux lives in the 500 block of Walsh Street. He allegedly shot the Ruiz youth in the chest while both were in the home of May McKerchie, police said.

The two were reportedly among several friends of Ms. McKerchie s daughter, Kera, who were in the house.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Luis on the front porch with friends performing CPR on him.

Ms. McKerchie and others originally told police the Ruiz youth was shot on the front porch by an unknown person.

Their versions of what happened did not match evidence at the scene. Witnesses eventually told police Mr. Leroux shot the Ruiz youth in an upstairs room of Ms. McKerchie s home, Sgt. Lou Vasquez said.

"At first they were really reluctant to come forward at all. It took extensive interviews, several hours, to get them to actually tell us the truth on what happened," Sergean Vasquez said. "The physical evidence, blood spatters just didn t fit with what they were telling us."

James Leroux James Leroux
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Police said Mr. Leroux fled the scene after the shooting. Neighbors said he is believed to have several relatives in Toledo.

"We tried to locate him at several different addresses already, so I would assume he knows that we re looking for him," Sergeant. Vasquez said.

A man who answered the door of the South Avenue home, but said Ms. McKerchie had no comment.

Mr. Leroux s father declined comment.

An autopsy on the victim has been scheduled for Monday.

Contact Chauncey Alcorn at:

calcorn@theblade.com

or 419-724-6168.



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