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Police and fire

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Police close South Calhoun Street in front of South Side High School after a shooting across the street Wednesday.

Shooting victim dies in front of barbershop across from South Side High School

The Journal Gazette

– A man was shot dead Wednesday afternoon on Calhoun Street across from South Side High School, Fort Wayne police said.

School officials said that as far as they know, no students or staff were involved in the shooting, which occurred about 3:30 p.m., almost an hour after school ended.

Officer Michael Joyner, a police spokesman, was not far away when callers reported the shooting and was the first officer to arrive.

Joyner said he found the wounded man on the sidewalk in front of Premium Cuts barbershop, 3530 S. Calhoun St. He could hear the sirens of approaching medics a few blocks away, so he waited for them to aid the man. Soon after medics showed up, the man was pronounced dead, Joyner said.

A white tarp was placed over the body as crowds gathered near the lines of yellow police tape that stretched across Calhoun Street.

Evangelist Tate, 54, was driving home from work when she came across the shooting scene and stopped to find out what happened.

"This is right in front of a school. There could have been kids out here," she said.

Tate, who keeps a daily journal, said she had just written an entry about families grieving the loss of a slain loved one. She said the number of killings this year has left her anxious about the safety of her children and grandchildren.

"All the youngsters is going day by day," she said. "I would give anything to know how to stop it."

If this death is declared a homicide, it would be the 41st in Fort Wayne and Allen County this year. The record high is 44 homicides, set in 1997.

Wednesday evening, detectives were still interviewing potential witnesses and trying to piece together what took place in front of the barbershop.

"We don't have any credible information at this time other than possibly an individual seen running on foot from the scene," Joyner said.

No arrests had been made, and police had no word on a motive, he said.

Krista Stockman, a spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Community Schools, said that when the shooting occurred, there were some students at South Side High School for after-school programs. As those students left, they were ushered away from the shooting scene on the west side of the school.

"We did not go on a lockdown or anything like that," she said, adding that parent-teacher conferences scheduled for that afternoon and evening continued as planned.