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Officer who shot fleeing felon ID’d

Gunfire trailed verbal warning, order to disarm

– Fort Wayne police have identified the veteran officer who killed a wanted man during a shootout at the Eden Green Apartments complex.

Officer Derrick Demorest and other members of the city’s gang unit were backing up federal authorities who were trying to capture Marcus Hayden on Monday night. Hayden, 26, was wanted on a charge of failing to appear in federal court.

Officers went to the Eden Green apartment complex, knocked on a door in the 1300 block of Greene Street and announced their presence. When they got no answer, they forced open the door, and Hayden immediately started shooting, authorities said.

A round hit an unidentified U.S. Marshals Service deputy in the lower right leg, leaving a wound that was not life-threatening. Hayden then leapt out of a back window while carrying a handgun and encountered Demorest, who was standing watch outside, authorities said.

“After refusing to listen to all verbal commands by the officer, Hayden was fired upon by officer Demorest to stop him as a further threat,” officer Liza Thomas, a city police spokeswoman, said in a written statement.

The Indiana State Police, which is investigating the shooting, said Demorest ordered Hayden multiple times to drop the gun, but Hayden verbally refused. Demorest shot Hayden in the torso with a shotgun, Police Chief Rusty York said.

Hayden, of Fort Wayne, died early Tuesday at a hospital from a gunshot wound or wounds, the Allen County Coroner’s Office reported. He was serving a five-year period of supervised release after being sentenced in 2009 to five years in prison for carrying a firearm during or in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

Demorest was placed on paid leave, in accordance with department policy.

Demorest joined the force in 2002. He and two other officers were commended in 2006 for safely disarming a knife-wielding man who threatened to kill his family and police.

In 2008, Demorest served in Iraq with the Indiana National Guard. It was his second one-year deployment. In addition to being a Guardsman, he spent eight years as an active-duty Marine.

Demorest’s disciplinary record includes three letters of reprimand and three suspensions. His most serious and most recent offense, an allegation of improper conduct, brought him a five-day suspension without pay.

The suspension stemmed from a domestic-battery investigation on Sept. 1, 2010. A man accused in the battery was handcuffed, and he challenged Demorest to take off the restraints. Demorest complied, and the man bit Demorest’s cheek and would not let go, York said in 2010.

Demorest’s other suspensions and reprimands were for minor infractions, such as police vehicle wrecks and missing a day of work, York said.

aingersoll@jg.net

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