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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL, La. -- Slidell police are still piecing together the city's first homicide of the new year.

Warren Pryor was found shot to death in a bank parking lot off of Gause Boulevard Monday night. His car was found burned in New Orleans a few hours later.

Detectives confirmed the identity of the suspect in the case as Michael Smith, Jr. Smith was wanted for a murder in Gert Town from a few days ago and turned himself in Tuesday morning to the New Orleans Police Department.

Sources say the suspect and victim did know each other, and the people that know them are all devastated.

'This really is shocking, I mean to get a call that you have to go and ID a body and the whole way there you're thinking, is it him? You're praying that it's not him and then you get there and it is him,' said Pryor's aunt, Zandrea Johnson.

'Eight days in the New Year, we've already had the first homicide in St. Tammany Parish,' said Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith.

But the chief says early leads, and even a suspect in custody, gives him the confidence the case won't stay open long.

'These two individuals have ties to New Orleans, but we understand were living here in Slidell, outside the city limits,' said Smith, 'We're working with the sheriff's office and NOPD to tie in all loose ends to try to find out what the cause of this shooting was and why it occurred here in Slidell.'

Family members of the quiet 21-year-old are still stuck on why it happened at all.

'You're just in shock because it was brutal the way he was killed,' said Johnson.

Sources say the connection between victim and suspect is through family members. Eyewitness News was told their parents are in a relationship and live together, with Pryor, in a Slidell-area home.

No motive has been determined in the case.

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