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Ben Mikesell | The Journal Gazette
A detective and victim's advocate talk with some people gathered near the scene of what police are investigating as a fatal shooting on the city's southeast side Monday evening. The body of a young man was found four doors down from a day-care center in the 2500 block of Weisser Park Avenue.

Body found on Weisser Park Avenue

Man's death angers neighborhood residents

The Journal Gazette

She pushed her way up the sidewalk, through a bunch of people gathered under a tree for shelter in the rain.

Her red apron covering jeans and a T-shirt, she looked as if she'd just walked off a job somewhere, headed down to the 2500 block of Weisser Park Avenue.

Her face showed concern as she walked, gaining speed toward the yellow police tape stretched from fence to tree to porch, spanning the street.

Within seconds of her arrival at the police cars parked at the yellow tape, standing in a group of others looking west down the street, she began to sob.

On the grass, just a few doors down and between black cloth barriers and the grille of a gold Cadillac, was the body of a young man, covered with the white sheet that said everything she did not want to know.

The man was believed to be the victim of a shooting. Just before 7 p.m., Fort Wayne police responded to multiple 911 calls about shots fired in the area. When they arrived, they found the man in the small vacant lot, unresponsive.

He was pronounced dead by paramedics shortly after their arrival, according to Fort Wayne police spokesman officer Michael Joyner.

Periodic downpours sent crime scene technicians scrambling to get their brown paper bags of evidence into their van and sent onlookers dashing for cover on porches and under trees, leaving flip-flops in the middle of Weisser Park Avenue.

Police Chief Gary Hamilton stood on a porch across the street from the crime scene, watching as his officers worked.

As a worker from the police department's Victim Assistance program comforted the woman with the red apron and those gathered near her, the coroner's truck arrived to take the body away.

Two women standing behind the television cameras grew angry as they spoke to each other, their voices growing louder as they walked away.

Their language peppered with expletives, the women expressed outrage at the continued violence in the community. One suggested those so anxious to fire off their guns should be sent off to war.

That, she said loudly, would bring “all that (expletive deleted)” to a stop.

“All that” – the violence and the gunplay – has escalated in the past few days. On Saturday, there were three drive-by-type shootings reported resulting in injuries – on Bowser Avenue, Oxford Street and on Southwest Anthony Wayne Drive.

And those are the bullets that connected with bodies. Numerous other reports of gunfire were made over the weekend, according to police logs.

Joyner said police had no suspects Monday evening in the Weisser Park Avenue case. Detectives were canvassing the neighborhood, but police were asking for the public's help in solving the apparent shooting, which remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 436-STOP or 436-7867.

If the death is declared a homicide, it will be the seventh in the county this year.

rgreen@jg.net

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