Teen arrested in connection with fatal shooting of 15-year-old in Peoria
PEORIA — An 18-year-old has been arrested in connection with a homicide last November, Peoria police announced Friday.
The teen was picked up Thursday night by officers investigating the fatal shooting of Merian "Jack" Smith, 15, on Nov. 7, 2022, in the 500 block of West Gift Avenue.
Peoria police did not identify the murder suspect, saying because he was 17 at the time of the fatal shooting, they couldn't release his name. However, Peoria County Jail records indicate that Ramon L. Blevins was booked into the jail at 12:50 a.m. Friday under the same incident number and with the same charges as outlined by police in their news release.
Officers stopped the vehicle in the 1200 block of East McClure Avenue and two people tried to flee. Officers were able to take all three into custody. During a search of the vehicle, officers found a stolen handgun. A second handgun was found with a front seat passenger, who was a juvenile.
Blevins was booked into the jail on charges of murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card and possession of firearm by a person under the age of 21.
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The car's driver, Breon K. Smith, 18, was booked into the jail on charges of aggravated reckless driving, criminal damage to government property, fleeing and eluding, obstructing a police officer and other traffic violations.
The juvenile passenger was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card and possession of firearm by a person under the age of 21. He was taken the county's Juvenile Detention Center.
Erick D. Jackson, 18, of West McClure Avenue, was arrested about a week after Smith's death and charged with murder.
Smith died two days after the shooting. Police responded to the area after three alerts from the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system indicated that 21 rounds had been fired.
Police used security camera footage to learn about a group of three males who were nearby at the time of the shooting. They obtained a search warrant for a house and lifted a fingerprint off the home's siding where they saw one of the men standing. That print matched Jackson, whose picture also matched the image in the video, prosecutors said at an earlier court hearing.
Both Smith and Blevins could be formally charged over the weekend by prosecutors and then have their bonds set.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any violent crimes, please contact the Peoria Police Department at (309) 673-4521, tip411 (anonymously), or Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at (309) 673-9000.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Teen arrested in connection with deadly shooting of Peoria 15-year-old