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Miami football coach’s death remains under investigation

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The search for Corey Smith’s killer continues on Wednesday. NFL players, college football players and Miami Senior High School’s Stingarees knew him better as Coach Corey. He was 46.

Miami-Dade police officers remained at the home where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel found Smith dead about 9:30 a.m. on Monday. Detectives believe he was shot several times about 9:10 a.m.

Smith had owned the four-bedroom home near Northwest 97 Street and Northwest 21st Avenue in Miami-Dade County’s West Little River neighborhood since 2003, records show. He had worked for Miami-Dade Public Schools since 1999.

Since officers took over Smith’s home on Monday, investigators have walked out with bagged evidence and brought a police dog. Detectives have also interviewed several of Smith’s relatives.

Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said on Monday that a 15-year-old boy who wasn’t injured was with Smith in the home when paramedics and officers arrived.

Officers said on Tuesday the teen was the son of Lamar Alexander, a suspect in a Coral Gables jewelry store burglary that turned into kidnapping and a police chase. The pursuit ended with a Dec. 5 shootout in Miramar. Alexander, 41, and three others died.

On Monday, grieving neighbors and friends said Smith had been a father figure and a mentor to many kids in need of support.

Smith had helped them find a path away from crime through sports, Willie Jones said. He had been a mentor to talented football players, Tyrone Hilton said, adding one of those mentees was his son T.Y. Hilton, an NFL wide receiver who plays with the Indianapolis Colts.

Last year, Smith was promoted to the job of his dreams: He started coaching his alma mater’s football team. Larry Blustein, who covers South Florida high school sports, referred to the change at Miami Senior High School as the “Corey Smith Era.”

The experienced physical education teacher and community football coach was with his team for one season. The students will soon be returning to a school without him.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the fatal shooting to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.


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