Peoria teen dies after shooting

Alex Dalton
Journal Star

PEORIA - A teenager is dead following a shooting on Monday that left another youth injured, according to the Peoria County coroner.

Merian L. Smith, 15, was one of two people injured in a shooting in the 500 block of West Gift Avenue. Peoria police arrived at the scene after three separate Shot Spotter alerts recorded a total of 21 rounds fired.

Smith was transported to OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in serious condition. He was pronounced brain dead at 10:11 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.

"Child deaths are difficult, but when a child dies because of gun violence, it is even more heartbreaking," Harwood wrote in a press release. "I am saddened by this event, for him, and his grieving family."

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The shooting remains under investigation by the Peoria police. The Peoria Police Department has urged community members with information to contact Detective Jake Beck at (309) 494-8480, or to reach out anonymously to tip411 or Crime Stoppers at (309) 673-9000.