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Cyclist shot in 1980 dies, ruled homicide

On July 10, 1980, 20-year-old David A. Thornsley was shot twice in the back with a .22-caliber rifle while riding his bike near Rudisill Boulevard and Smith Street.

On Monday, Thornsley died at St. Joseph Hospital from septicemia, a complication due to paraplegia caused by the gunshot wound. The now-53-year-old man’s death is Allen County’s seventh homicide of 2013, according to the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

Even though the shooting occurred decades ago, because Thornsley died this year, the Allen County Coroner’s Office counts the death among this year’s homicide totals.

At the time of the shooting, police said they had no suspects or motive for the shooting. A white van was seen speeding from the area, but no additional information was available.

This is not the first time Allen County has seen an old shooting become a new homicide.

Last April, 44-year-old Brian Burtz died from complications of quadriplegia caused by a 1983 shooting at a downtown bus station. Burtz was shot in the neck with a .22-caliber rifle by an employee of the bus station who heard glass breaking.

The man gave chase to two people running from the station and took the safety off his rifle. He told police it fired accidentally.

Then, in June, 24-year-old Dawain Dontae Porter died from injuries he suffered in a December 2006 shooting outside Glenbrook Square.

rgreen@jg.net

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