GARY | Police are investigating the shooting death of 41-year-old newspaper salesman whose body was found Tuesday morning.
Kovin Bell, of the 500 block of Connecticut Street in Gary, was pronounced dead at 6:08 a.m. in the emergency room of Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, said a spokesman for the Lake County coroner's office.
The cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds to the body suffered in an apparent homicide.
Police said officers responded to a Marathon gas station at 5390 W. 15th Ave., at the intersection of 15th Avenue and Clark Road, and found Bell unresponsive on the ground.
Bell was wearing a vest with multiple pockets at the time of the shooting. Investigators at the scene said they found more than two dozen small bags of marijuana inside the vest.
Police believe the victim was preparing newspapers for distribution when a man shot him and then fled on foot.
The victim was not delivering newspapers for The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Police are asking anyone with information about the case to contact Gary police Cpl. Jeff Hornyak at (219) 881-7300, ext. 3002.
The shooting death marks Gary's 33rd homicide of the year.
Elected officials and law enforcement representatives at the local, county, state and federal level are working together to try to curb the gun violence plaguing northern Lake County. The shootings are overwhelmingly retaliatory in nature and carried out by small, young gangs involved in minor drug trade, officials have said.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Gov. Mike Pence are in ongoing discussions about the mayor's request for assistance from Indiana State Police. Lake County police and the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force are already lending manpower to the efforts.
Local law enforcement officials met with representatives from county and federal agencies last week in an effort to craft a regional approach to the problem.