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Male in hospital following shooting at housing complex

– A woman with a blanket-covered child in her arms wove around nine squad cars.

She tried to duck underneath yellow crime scene tape to get to an apartment.

A police officer was there to stop her.

“I’m not going to tell you again,” he said.

“Are you serious?” the woman said. “It’s my son … ”

Thursday afternoon on Serenity Drive: Less than 24 hours prior, during the State of the City address, Mayor Tom Henry touted the Fort Wayne Police Department’s new gang unit.

It’s a unit designed specifically to curb the violence that spawned a record-breaking 45 homicides in the county last year.

As afternoon bled into evening, though, police were dealing with another shooting – one that left a male victim in serious condition after being shot at Centennial Townhomes, a subsidized housing complex near Lafayette Street and South Anthony Boulevard – not far from another shooting two days earlier.

“Right now, we’re collecting information,” said officer John Chambers, Fort Wayne police spokesman.

Officers were called to the complex about 3:50 p.m.

At first they had trouble finding witnesses or a victim, Chambers said.

Then they found someone who had been shot. It was unclear whether he was shot while inside a vehicle or outside near an apartment, Chambers said.

He did not know whether the victim was an adult or juvenile. His name was withheld pending family notification, Chambers said.

The victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition. His condition was later upgraded to good, Chambers said.

While the woman with the child milled about the scene, taking turns talking to people and then into her cellphone, officers roamed on foot.

Most were in uniform. One donned jeans, a bulletproof vest and carried a machine gun he eventually put in the trunk of a squad car.

“Don’t you put me on the news,” the woman with the child said as she caught sight of a television news crew. “I don’t want my business on the TV.”

Officers taped off large swaths of snow-covered yards in front of several ground-level apartments in the 7900 block of Serenity.

They talked to several people and took photos of various cars in a parking lot roughly 200 yards west from where the shooting took place.

All the while, eyes peeked from behind blinds in the windows of the complex.

Others watched from large windows in hallways that overlooked the complex’s parking lots. Some made their way out into the cold, asking what was going on or what happened.

“Did anybody die?” many asked.

Police investigated another shooting Tuesday near the site of Thursday’s shooting.

DeAndrew Moore and Devonte Jones were found Tuesday with gunshot wounds outside a car at Decatur Road and Dawnan Drive, about a mile away from Centennial Townhomes.

They told police they had been driving south on Decatur Road when someone began shooting at their red Chevrolet Impala.

They told police the shooter might have been firing at them from a nearby residence but said they did not know who would shoot at them. Both survived.

“It’s too early to tell (if they’re connected),” Chambers said.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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