Police: Shooting victim was targeted - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Police: Shooting victim was targeted

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Providence police said Thursday that the city's first homicide victim of the year was targeted.

A small shrine marked the location where 20-year-old Wesley Smith was gunned down Wednesday night.

Police said the Providence man was shot in the head on purpose.

"There's really not much we can speak on right now for the homicide. We're working on it. Clearly, it's not random he was targeted," Col. Hugh Clements, the police chief, said.

It's upsetting news for neighbors.

"I hear about it on television, but it's not something I thought would actually happen here in this neighborhood. So, it's really sad and I give my condolences to the family," said one person.

Relatives of Smith said he was a tough kid and that they're very angry he was targeted.

The shooting happened at the corner of Dudley and Tanner streets in front of witnesses.

Police said they're using information from witnesses to try to find the gunman. They wouldn't reveal whether Smith's past arrests and run-ins with the law are factors.

"I'm not going to speak about his criminal background, but we do know him. He is familiar to Providence police," Clements said.

Police said they have not made any arrests in the killing, and they haven't said if they have a suspect.

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