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The Journal Gazette

Fight injuries lead to death; homicide ruled

– A Fort Wayne man involved in a fight Saturday night was dead by Sunday morning, having succumbed to injuries he suffered when he fell and hit his head on the ground.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office ruled 31-year-old Keith James Gavura’s death a homicide Tuesday, but no arrests have been made as investigators continue to piece together what happened.

Witnesses told detectives Gavura became embroiled in some kind of physical altercation or argument with a juvenile while at a gathering at the home of an acquaintance in the 800 block of Home Avenue on Saturday.

According to officer Raquel Foster, a spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne Police Department, another adult at the gathering then intervened.

This adult and Gavura were involved in their own physical altercation outside the home, where Gavura was hit, Foster said. He fell and hit his head, but at some point afterward made his way to an apartment in the 5500 block of River Run Trail.

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, a woman inside that apartment called emergency dispatchers and said that Gavura would not wake up. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The coroner ruled the cause of death as blunt force injury of the head. His death is the 20th homicide in the county this year.

According to Allen County Superior Court records, Gavura had been arrested nearly two dozen times in the past dozen years or so. The charges included a few felonies but were usually misdemeanors and stemmed from the same offense in nearly every case: public intoxication, battery, resisting law enforcement.

Gavura’s last run-in with the law came in August, when Allen County prosecutors formally charged him with a felony count of resisting law enforcement by using a vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.

He pleaded guilty early this year to those charges and was sentenced to one year in prison. Department of Correction records showed that his earliest release date was last month.

Foster said police have interviewed many at the gathering where the fight that led to his death took place and that the investigation continues.