Investigation: Suspect commits Christmas murder before assaulting child

Investigation: Suspect commits Christmas murder before assaulting child
The suspect stole a vehicle at the nearby Speedway gas station. (Source: WOIO)
The suspect stole a vehicle at the nearby Speedway gas station. (Source: WOIO)

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Perry Township detectives, and other local agencies, are investigating a Christmas murder that happened around 9:25 p.m.

Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Linway Avenue NW in Massillon, to assist the fire department with a stabbing. When they arrived, they found Jason Gruno already dead.

Through the night, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, along with the Stark County Coroner's Office, worked to follow up on leads.

Detectives learned that after the suspect fled the victim's residence, he went to the nearby Speedway on Lincoln Way, where he assaulted an 11-year-old child sitting in a parked vehicle. After the assault, authorities say the suspect forced the child out of the car and fled the gas station in it.

The suspect, Richard Schmidt, 44, of Canton, was found in Canton a short time later.

The child was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Schmidt was charged with murder, theft of a motor vehicle, robbery, assault and tampering with evidence.

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