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Brawl at VFW leaves gunshot victim critical

A man was badly injured in a shooting early Saturday at a club in southeast Fort Wayne, city police said.

A large brawl erupted inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars post at 2441 Winter St., and someone at the scene called 911 to report that a gunshot might have been fired during the melee, said officer John Chambers, a police spokesman.

Police were dispatched about 1:50 a.m. to the VFW, which, at the time, was open to the public as a bar. When officers arrived, they did not find anyone who had been shot, and people in a crowd outside the club had little information for officers, Chambers said.

A short time passed before police learned that a man had just arrived at a hospital with a gunshot wound. Investigators determined that he was shot at the VFW and was taken to the hospital by someone other than emergency workers, Chambers said.

The victim was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital, police said. His name was not released.

Chambers said police have no suspects in the case.

“Investigators had very little to go on,” he said. “They’re still trying to locate potential witnesses.”

Chambers said he does not believe investigators have been able to speak with the victim. Whether the victim was involved in the brawl at the club is unclear, Chambers said.

Over the years, the VFW on Winter Street has occasionally been the scene of gun violence. A recent incident occurred in April 2011 when a fight in the club led a man to shoot another man in the abdomen with a handgun.

The victim survived, and 28-year-old Jenoire Essex-Howard was charged in the shooting but he remains at large, according to court records.

aingersoll@jg.net

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