'Vehicle of interest' found in Gary hit-and-run crash

April 14, 2014 (GARY, Ind.)

Officials say the investigation of the fatal-hit-and-run crash is ongoing. They have not identified the driver or the owner of the truck that may be involved. No suspects are in custody.

Malik Herron, 13, Robert Davis, 17, and other teens were walking home from a nearby park in the 4900-block of Vermont Street between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. A large, dark-colored vehicle swerved off the road and struck the two boys. Witnesses say the driver didn't appear to try and stop.

"The truck speeding and swerving, hit them both. My little brother's arm is messed up," Willie Davis, Robert's brother, said. The 17-year old suffered minor injuries in the crash to his hip and arm.

Herron was rushed to Methodist Hospital's Southlake Campus, where he was pronounced dead. His mother, Monik Herron, pleaded for the hit-and-run driver to turn himself or herself in to police.

Monik Herron said she relocated her family to Gary to escape the violence in Chicago.

"Who'd think my child would be gone before me?" the grieving mother of five said. "I wanted to give my kids a chance and I thought by moving here that would be the way."

Police said they recovered the vehicle that may have been involved about two miles from the crash scene, thanks to a tip.

"I don't know what damage this vehicle has," Gary Police Department Cpl. Gabrielle King said. "But I know the vehicle we're looking for has damage to the passenger side, the mirror, the turn signal."

Herron was a well-liked eighth-grader at Lew Wallace Science Academy.

"He was happy, just a normal 13-year old," Sarita Stevens of Gary Community Schools said. Grief counselors were on-hand Monday for students and staff.

"It's gonna feel weird because I'm used to actually seeing him around school," Daquan Gibson, another classmate, said. "But now that he not there, it's going to be kind of weird."

Friends and family said the 13-year old boy loved to play basketball and dance. Although he sometimes struggled in school, his goals included getting back on the honor roll.

"He was really cool," Herron's classmate Armani Aaron said. "He was always there when you need him too. He was pretty fun."

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