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EAST CHICAGO — Days after attempted murder charges against him were dismissed, a Hammond man was shot dead after a fight that apparently did not involve him.

A witness told police a fight ended with gunshots early Sunday in the city's Indiana Harbor section. Soon after that, police arrived and found Alan L. Ross Jr., 22, dead, an official said.

Ross appeared to have been shot in the face about 2 a.m. in the area of 140th and Pulaski streets, East Chicago Police Lt. Marguerite Wilder said.

The witness told police people fled the area after the shots were fired, she said.

"Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that the victim was an involved party in the fight or the intended target of the shots fired," Wilder said. "Prior to this incident, East Chicago police had no prior contact with (the) victim."

Hammond police previously have arrested Ross twice on attempted murder charges, a spokesman for the Lake County prosecutor's office confirmed Monday.

East Chicago police responded to 140th and Pulaski streets Sunday after the city's ShotSpotter technology indicated gunshots in the area, Wilder said.

Medics arrived minutes later, but were unable to revive Ross. He was pronounced dead at the scene about 4:15 a.m. The death was ruled a homicide, a Lake County coroner's release said.

Charges in Ross's latest case, filed in April 2018, were dismissed last week after a victim refused to cooperate and a witness recanted his prior statements about a shooting March 27, 2018, that wounded a then 54-year-old man in the 1000 block of Drackert Street.

Ross had been accused of opening fire on the 54-year-old as he confronted Ross and three other men. Charges against the three other men also were dismissed.

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Ross was just 17 years old when he was charged in connection with a shooting in July 2014 that wounded a mother from Addison, Illinois, and two of her daughters.

The woman traveled to to the 900 block of Highland Street to buy a cellphone, and later identified Ross at the man who demanded money and fired shots into her car.

The woman was shot in the right hand and arm. Her then-15-year-old daughter was shot in the right arm, lower right abdominal area and right leg, and her then-12-year-old daughter was shot in her right hip, court records say.

Lake County prosecutors dropped charges against Ross and his co-defendant in that shooting in September 2014.

The co-defendant was later charged in U.S. District Court and sentenced to more than five years in prison. Federal charges were not filed against Ross, records show.

Anyone who may have been in the area at the time of Ross's homicide or have information is asked to contact Detective Isaac Washington at 219-391-8318 or email iwashington@eastchicago.com. To remain anonymous, call 219-391-8500. 

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