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GARY — Witnesses told police people in one car were shooting at a second car during a chase Thursday, shortly before officers arrived to find a boy dead from a gunshot wound, police said.

The boy was found about 4 p.m. Thursday laying on the ground near a vacant lot in the 1100 block of Rutledge Street, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.

Investigators haven't determined yet if the person was riding in a vehicle or was a bystander during the gunfire, he said. 

Police initially responded to the area for a report of shots fired and a person possibly down in the street.

Officers arrived and found the boy, who had no signs of life and was pronounced dead at the scene by Lake County coroner's investigators.

The man's death marks the 21st homicide so far this year in Gary, according to police and death records.

Witnesses told police people in one vehicle appeared to be chasing another vehicle as occupants in the first vehicle shot at people in the second vehicle, Hamady said. The cars were seen in the area of Rutledge and Ellsworth streets.

Officers were canvassing the neighborhood for possible video footage, Hamady said. 

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Coroner's investigators still were working to identify the boy.

He was described as black with dark skin in his late teens or early 20s, 5 foot 8 and 165 pounds with dreadlocks.

He was wearing a size medium black T-shirt with a "Hostelling International" logo on the front left breast area and "HI USA STRONGER TOGETHER ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY MARCH 30TH, 2015" on the back; a black zip-up jacket with camouflage sleeves; Levi blue jeans, size 30x30; and white Nike Air Force gym shoes, size 8 1/2, a coroner's release said.

Anyone with information about the boy's identity is asked to call the coroner's office at 219-755-3265.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective James Bond, of the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, at 219-755-3852. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.

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