David Morales, who is on the Dangerous Dozen list for drug charges, is wanted for questioning in the murder of Taru Smith Sr., 36, of Lorain, who was killed Tuesday night in Wellsville, according to Lorain Detective Kurt Graupmann, a member of the task force.
Graupmann said the task force has been looking for Morales for months but was on special alert Wednesday after Wellsville police told them Morales may be connected to Smith’s murder.
Preliminary reports indicate Smith was in a sports utility vehicle around 6 p.m. in Wellsville on Tuesday when someone in another vehicle opened fire and struck Smith several times, according to Wellsville police Lt. Ed Wilson.
The driver in the other vehicle, thought to be a late model white Mazda, fled while Smith continued driving before crashing into the rear of a parked car in front of the village police station, Wilson said.
Smith was taken by ambulance to East Liverpool City Hospital, where he died from his wounds. Wilson could not immediately describe the nature of Smith’s injuries.
As of Wednesday night, police had no motive for the shooting but did not rule out drug-related issues.