Identity of Loughborough homicide victim released

The victim in Friday's Loughborough-area shooting death has been identified as 29-year-old Jermond Smith of Merced, according to the Merced County Coroner's Office.

The motive for the crime remains under investigation and no suspects have been arrested.

Smith was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot about 7:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of Loughborough Drive. He later died at the hospital from his wounds.

The victim was outside near the Oak Terrace Apartments when shots were fired, according to Lt. Roger McIntyre.No suspect description is available, although McIntyre said the victim was able to tell police a white, four-door car was involved.

The city of Merced has reported nine homicides this year, compared to seven in 2010. A total of 15 homicides have been reported in Merced County this year, compared with 28 last year.

Merced police are asking anyone with information to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Tips can be sent via anonymous text messages by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the text message.

Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

-- Sun-Star staff