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MERRILLVILLE — The man gunned down early Wednesday in the 5400 block of Maryland Street has been identified as 18-year-old Jeremiah Simon, of Merrillville, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

He became the ninth suspected homicide so far this year across the Region. The tenth suspected homicide came Wednesday evening when a man suffering from a gunshot wound was found by officers investigating a crash near the intersection of West Fifth Avenue and Clark Road in Gary. The victim was declared dead at a hospital shortly after being transported, Gary police said.  

Simon was found dead about 3 a.m. in the backyard of a home by officers who were responding to reports of gunfire in the area, police said.

He had suffered gunshot wounds, and the manner of death is pending, the coroner's office said.

The case is under investigation by police as a homicide.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Merrillville Police Detective Matthew Paunicka at 219-769-3722, extension 364.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.