Aurora police are continuing to scour the area on the city's near west side where a 26-year-old Joliet man was shot and killed Tuesday night, becoming the second victim of a murder in Aurora this year.
Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said investigators do not yet have any suspects in the shooting that left Quiane D. Smith, of the 400 block of Madeline Street, dead in a yard on Spruce Street near West Aurora High School.
Police have canvassed the neighborhood more than once and were continuing to interview witnesses and investigate evidence Thursday afternoon, he said.
The shooting took place about 9 p.m. Tuesday. When police arrived at the scene near Spruce Street and Elmwood Drive, they found Smith with a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Kane County coroner's office conducted an autopsy Wednesday, but Smith's official cause of death remains under investigation, authorities said Thursday.
Ferrelli said Aurora has been in contact with Joliet police, as that department apparently had prior contact with Smith. According to Will County court records, Smith was charged with unlawful use of a weapon in 2004, convicted of resisting a peace officer in 2008, and sent to jail twice in 2012 for possession of marijuana. Records also show he was cited for more than two dozen traffic offenses since 2003.
While no homicides were reported in Aurora last year, Alderman Rick Lawrence said news of the second murder this year is unfortunate, but not surprising. Lawrence's ward includes the block in the west side neighborhood where Smith was found dead, and he said the area has been experiencing an increase in gang activity.
Lawrence said a West Park neighborhood group meets in the area every month and discusses issues with police and the city's department of property standards in an attempt to handle about a dozen homes that present problems.
Ferrelli said police are interested in hearing from anyone who might have seen or heard what happened Tuesday night as they seek to hold whoever shot Smith accountable. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (630) 256-5500 or make an anonymous call to Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at (630) 892-1000 to qualify for a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to any arrests.