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n3parents-4 Harlan Harris, Sr., Robert Harris’ father, says that his son ‘‍was just starting to live.’
Harlan Harris, Sr., Robert Harris’ father, says that his son ‘‍was just starting to live.’
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Published: Tuesday, 7/8/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Police say few willing to help solve homicide

Man shot over holiday weekend is city’s 14th victim

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Robert Harris, 28, holding his cousin, was shot and killed July 5 in the 800 block of Vance Street. Family said Mr. Harris was perfecting his skills as a barber and planned to go to barber school. Police say Mr. Harris became the 14th homicide in the city this year after he was shot in the 800 block of Vance Street. Robert Harris, 28, holding his cousin, was shot and killed July 5 in the 800 block of Vance Street. Family said Mr. Harris was perfecting his skills as a barber and planned to go to barber school. Police say Mr. Harris became the 14th homicide in the city this year after he was shot in the 800 block of Vance Street.
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No one saw anything.

Or so said the people who were still in the 800 block of Vance Street when police arrived Saturday night looking for witnesses to what would become a homicide.

As of Monday evening, no charges were filed in the death of Robert Harris, 28, and police said they were having trouble finding people willing to put together the puzzle pieces. Mr. Harris was shot twice at about 10:50 p.m. Saturday, once in his back and once in his right thigh, said Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a Lucas County deputy coroner.

His death is the 14th homicide in the city this year.

“Twenty-eight years old. He was just starting to live,” said Harlan Harris, Sr., 54, the victim’s father.

RELATED CONTENT: The Blade 2014 Homicide Report

He described his son as “a real nice guy” who, since he was 13 years old, worked to perfect his barber skills, snipping locks and cutting in fresh fades for family, friends, and neighbors.

He planned to go to barber school, and maybe one day open his own shop, his father said.

The elder Mr. Harris said he was in Jackson, Mich., camping when his phone started to ring and ring and ring with the news.

Family made the rounds through the neighborhood, calling to find out if it was true, ending up at the hospital to see Mr. Harris attached to beeping machines and tubes.

By the time Harlan Harris arrived to see his son it was 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

“He was probably already dead,” Harlan Harris said. “There was blood in the tubes. Blood in his nose.”

‘‍RIP ROB’ is spelled out in votive candles on the lawn of shooting victim Robert Harris’ previous residence in the 700 block of Nebraska Avenue. Mr. Harris was shot on Saturday night and died in the hospital. ‘‍RIP ROB’ is spelled out in votive candles on the lawn of shooting victim Robert Harris’ previous residence in the 700 block of Nebraska Avenue. Mr. Harris was shot on Saturday night and died in the hospital.
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Police investigated two other shootings on Sunday, which are related to one another but not to Mr. Harris’ death, police said.

Shot in the 600 block of Fernwood Avenue, at 11:40 a.m., was DoJuan Smith, 20. Minutes later, at Dorr and Ewing streets, Larin Patton, 25, was shot, police said.

The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Investigators believe that the latter shooting was retaliation for the Fernwood shooting. No charges have been filed.

“Why pull guns out?” Mr. Harris asked. “Go back to the old days and stick your hands up. Quit being punks and pulling guns out. The only time you need a gun is if you’re in trouble.

“Something I wouldn’t wish on no one,” he said.

Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.



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