Boy, 15, found shot to death on Bradenton street

February 21, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy Thursday evening near Norma Lloyd Park in Bradenton, according to Bradenton police.

About 8:30 p.m., officers receive a report of a shooting.

"The caller said she had heard gunshots in the area," said police Deputy Chief Warren Merriman. "When officers arrived they spotted a white male in the middle of 2500 block of 13th Avenue East."

The victim was identified as Dakota A. Smith, who lived three blocks away. He was a student at Horizons Academy, according to Manatee County School District spokesman Steve Valley.

Police said witnesses saw two men walking behind Smith and then heard gunfire.

The Manatee County Homicide Task Force, which includes investigators from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and local police departments, is investigating the slaying.

Smith's death is the first homicide in the city of Bradenton in 2014.

Anyone having information about the case can call Bradenton police Detective James Curulla  at  941-747-3011,  Ext.  2224,  or  to remain  anonymous  and  be  eligible  for  a  cash reward  of  up  to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers (toll free) at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip thru the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com

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