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Police Trying to Identify Suspect, Motive in Murder of E. Columbus Teen

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Investigators are trying to determine if the fatal shooting of a teenager is connected to at least one additional murder that occurred during a violent eight hour period that spanned Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Construction workers alerted police to the presence of a teenager's body at Oakwood Ave. and Forest St. at approximately 6:45 a.m. on Thursday. The victim was later identified as 17-year-old Lamont Frazier.

Investigators believe Frazier was walking north in front of a row of vacant houses along Oakwood Ave. when he was shot in the upper body.

Police have yet to determine the time of the shooting, but believe it may have occurred around 1:30 a.m. due to the reports of area residents who claim to have heard gunshots at that time.

"You got a young kid, I hate to see that," said Tonya Garner, who reported the discovery of the teen's body to police. "I called my daughter and told her I love her as soon as I seen that."

Frazier was pronounced dead at the scene of his body's discovery. He was identified via fingerprints several hours after he was killed.

Frazier is one of at least two people to be murdered within a short time period in a small geographic area in Columbus.

The rash of violence began with the fatal shooting of a clerk at the Convenient Plus Food Mart on Livingston Ave. at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Six males fled the store with stolen items after the murder, according to police, who have identified one suspect as 17-year-old Devonere Earl O'Shay Simmonds.

Detectives are also working to determine the cause of death of an elderly man who was found dead in a burning car at 1100 Rhoads Ave. at approximately 7 a.m.

Members of Trinity Baptist Church believe the deceased man was a deacon at their place of worship, but police have yet to identify the man publicly, or determine if he was murdered.
 
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