FORT WAYNE – The 9 p.m. shooting of a 60-year-old woman marked the end to a busy New Years Day for emergency dispatchers and police officers.
Throughout the day Wednesday, dispatchers were inundated with calls that ranged from severe and serious to bizarre and mundane.
Fourteen seconds into the new year, three men had been shot on the citys south side. A minute later, dispatchers received complaints about shots fired four miles southwest.
Other calls included a man complaining someone was on his roof, a woman with a shovel in her hand begging to get into a car and a fight in a hotel parking lot.
The first shooting, which happened seconds after midnight at 4815 Reed St., left three people severely wounded.
Paramedics took the three victims to a hospital in serious condition. Once there, a doctor downgraded one victims condition to critical.
On Thursday, police had little additional information about the three men – ages 21, 19 and 17 – except that the victims appeared to be targeted by the shooter.
Just before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, city officers were called to a home in the 3600 block of Logan Avenue where they found a man suffering from a single gunshot wound. Paramedics later pronounced him dead.
It wasnt clear at first what had happened, but after interviewing witnesses who were inside the home, police later said it was likely accidental or suicidal in nature. No additional information was available Thursday.
And the third shooting, which left a 60-year-old woman with gunshot wounds to her leg and hand, took place Wednesday night at a home in the 3700 block of Trace Circle.
She told police there was a knock at her door at 9:14 p.m. and when she walked to the door, she was shot at least twice.
On Thursday, the woman was listed in stable condition at a hospital.
A witness told police she saw two men standing in front of the home and one of them shot at the house.
‘Business as usual’
While families and friends toasted and cheered, officers throughout the city scurried from one location to the next, keeping a close eye on reports of shots being fired in several neighborhoods.
Calls to dispatchers about people firing weapons into the air arent unusual, Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Michael Joyner said.
It was business as usual with the exception of that shooting about 14 seconds into the new year, Joyner said. But the shots fired, the celebratory nonsense that people do firing handguns and so forth; were prepared to handle whatever comes up.
And as one family learned, when bullets fly, they must come down.
At 12:27 a.m., police received a call from a man on Reynolds Street, explaining that his family had just finished celebrating and were preparing for bed when his daughter told him there was a bullet on her bed, according to police reports.
The girls father went into her room and spotted a hole above the bed and the bullet lying on her bed – directly below the hole.
The man told police he hadnt heard anything unusual and didnt know who might be responsible for the hole.