EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — Police are searching for a suspect who shot a 15-year-old boy early Monday morning. Police say the shooting is tied to the recent crime wave involving stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
“We were called to the home and found that he had been shot in the leg,” Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer said. “He did not have an exact location of where the shooting took place.”
Officers found a stolen Hyundai SUV parked outside the victim’s house. There were two bullet holes in the driver’s side door of the vehicle, police said.
“We believe he was operating the stolen vehicle that was parked in front of his house that had bullet holes in the door that correspond with his wounds,” said Euclid Police Captain Jeff Cutwright.
Cutwright said no charges have been filed yet and police are continuing to investigate.
Fox 8 has reported for months about the hundreds of Kia thefts in the area. Suspects as young as 13 have been caught driving the stolen cars.
Meyer said the crime wave appears to be escalating and becoming more violent.
“We are seeing this happening at any time during day and at night,” Meyer said. “The violence is definitely increasing and I fear it will get worse. What we are seeing now, these youths are stealing these cars and they are committing other crimes, particularly violent crimes”
The chief said he is increasing patrols and is urging anyone who notices suspicious activity in their neighborhoods to call police right away.
“It’s scary and concerning,” Cutwright said. “Kids are seeing this as a video game, a reenactment of a game, where people steal cars and shoot at people. It’s unacceptable, it’s unacceptable to our citizens and needs to stop.”