FORT WAYNE – A 3-year-old girl remains in critical condition Monday morning after a shooting Thursday on the city’s southeast side.
Through witnesses, police have learned that a man with a gun walked toward a group of people gathered Thursday night outside a house at Gaywood Drive and Maple Grove Avenue.
He fired several times from the street, paused and then fired several more shots before fleeing north on foot, said Officer Raquel Foster, a police spokeswoman.
A bullet hit the little girl, Kenaveya Williams, in the torso as she was playing in the front yard. Another shot struck Quantae Jackson, 18, in the leg while he sat on the front porch, Foster said.
About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, police and medics were sent to the house, a block north of East Pettit Avenue, and the victims were taken to a hospital. On Monday, Kenaveya was in critical condition and Jackson was last reported in fair condition, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fort Wayne Police Department at 427-1222 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 436-7867, where a cash reward is possible.
Foster said investigators believe the shooting might be linked to gang issues.
“The names of the individuals involved, many of them have a history of gang ties,” she said, declining to say whether Jackson has gang connections.
She said police do not believe the shooting was random but are unsure of the shooter’s intended target.
“We can’t definitively say that (Jackson) was targeted, but we can say that, fairly certain, the toddler wasn’t the target,” she said.
In May, officials at Wayne High School caught Jackson with a loaded handgun in his pants pocket, police said. He was charged with felony possession of a gun on school property and misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license. A jury trial is scheduled in October.
Jackson and the girl are not related, and neither lives at the home where the shooting occurred. He lives nearby, and she was at the home with her family, Foster said.
Most of the people at the gathering were adults. Some were in the home; two, including Jackson, were on the porch; and three, including Kenaveya, were in the front yard, Foster said.
Foster said multiple shell casings of the same caliber were found at the scene, which does not necessarily mean only one gun was fired. There was no evidence that anyone at the gathering returned fire, she said.
Police have interviewed witnesses and have some leads, but they are looking for people with knowledge of the shooting to step forward.
“We really need to identify the shooter,” Foster said.