Toledo's Chief and Mayor address city's 1st murder and violence

Fannie Mae Smith

Just three days into 2012, Toledo Police are investigating the city's first homicide of the year.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 81-year-old Fannie Mae Smith was shot while watching television inside her North Toledo home.

"To shoot an innocent elderly woman, that was basically minding her business is totally unacceptable," Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said during a press conference Tuesday.

As of late Tuesday night, officials did not have any suspects in Smith's murder but said her death was not a "random act".

Less than 24 hours before the Smith homicide, two unrelated shootings in Toledo wounded a pair of victims on Monday.

"The last couple of days have been pretty sad here. But I do believe in Toledo and I do believe the citizens have the ability to turn this around,â?? Bell added.

In an effort to address the recent violence, Bell and Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs held a joint press conference on Tuesday and both made repeated pleas to the public for help.

"There's folks out there in the community that have a key pieces of information they can give to us to solve these things and they are not coming forward," Diggs said.

Bell added that another key piece to the puzzle will be obtaining more funding and volunteers for community programs that target at-risk youth.

"We need the business community to step-up and start with possibly some donations or funding for programs that keep kids active so they don't get involved in these gangs," Bell said.

Authorities say while they have made their own efforts to curb crime, taking an estimated 1,000 guns off the streets in the last 6 month and working to obtain surveillance cameras for the city, they need the public to tell them whatâ??s happening in their communities.

Anyone with information on the recent homicides or shootings is encouraged to contact Crimestopper at 419-255-1111.

TIps can be made anonymously.