FORT WAYNE – By all accounts, the Southwick Village neighborhood, especially the last street at the back of the development, is a quiet place.
Three gunshots Wednesday evening momentarily changed all that.
After neighbors heard what sounded like gunshots shortly after 9 p.m., someone who lived at 4219 Chippendale Court looked in the home, yelled to call the police and then ran.
Inside the home, police found 29-year-old Nicholas X. Palacio dead from multiple gunshots.
The Allen County Coroner's Office identified him Thursday as the sixth homicide victim in Allen County this year.
Officers want to question the man who left about what he might have seen. Police said Thursday there was no new information about the shooting or the investigation.
A nearby resident, who's lived in the neighborhood near Wayne Trace and East Paulding Road nearly 30 years and asked not to be named, said he was working on his car shortly before the shooting.
He said he usually leaves his garage door open but closed it that night because the mosquitoes were so bad.
Shortly before the door closed, he saw a white Pontiac back into the driveway of the home where Palacio was found.
Not more than five minutes later, he heard three gunshots, looked outside and saw neighbors standing on the lawn looking at the house.
A man and woman who live next door, who also asked not to be named, said a man quickly got in the white car and left “like a bat out of hell.” They said another man who lives at the home where the shooting occurred came from the back of the house, entered through the garage and yelled for someone to call the police.
The woman said she approached the door to the house from the garage and called for anyone inside but did not enter when she didn't get a response.
Palacio pleaded guilty in 2009 to possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with four years suspended and two years on probation.
His last run-in with the courts was in February 2013 when he pleaded guilty to two counts of resisting law enforcement, according to Allen County court records. He received a one-year prison sentence in that case.
All three nearby residents said Palacio was a quiet neighbor and seemed polite.
The most noise they heard from the home was when a woman would occasionally bring two young children and play outside.
They also said, however, there was a lot of vehicle traffic at the home.
They said a car would enter the garage, the door would close and a few minutes later the car would leave, but there were never any disturbances.
“This is a very quiet neighborhood. I'm very surprised,” said the man who was working on his cars when his neighbor was shot.
Despite the activity the night before, Chippendale Court was back to its quiet self Thursday afternoon.
The only sign of the violence on the street was police tape that dangled from a nearby fence.