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Police and fire

Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Officers bag clothing at a scene where Gerelle R. Borum was shot at the intersection of Rudisill Boulevard and Indiana Avenue.

1 dead in drive-by shooting

Arrest made after gunshots surprised neighborhood

The Journal Gazette

– In the middle of the afternoon Tuesday, a 22-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting on a busy street in a neighborhood on Fort Wayne's south side that's not accustomed to gun violence.

The shooting of Gerelle Ramone Borum, a city resident, was followed by the arrest of Josiah C. Thomas, 22, on a preliminary charge of murder, said officer Raquel Foster, a city police spokeswoman.

Foster said Borum was walking near West Rudisill Boulevard and Indiana Avenue when Thomas shot at him from a truck. The motive was not immediately clear, she said.

Tuesday's shooting came after a string of three unrelated shootings last week in the city, which killed two men and critically wounded a third.

About 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, several callers reported hearing gunshots near the intersection. Officers found the victim lying on the sidewalk of the southwest corner, and he was taken to a hospital where he later died, Foster said.

Witnesses gave police a description of a red-and-white truck that had fled the scene. Not long afterward, officers stopped a truck matching the description about a mile away, near Rudisill and Lafayette Street, she said.

Thomas, the only person in the truck, was detained for questioning. Thomas, of Fort Wayne, was later arrested and held without bail at the Allen County Lockup. Police seized the truck to search it for evidence, Foster said.

David Barwick, who lives at the corner, said he was in his living room when he heard four gunshots. He went outside and saw a man and woman helping the victim.

"The kid was bleeding out," Barwick said. "I said, 'Somebody better get here pretty damn quick.' "

Barwick, 77, said police came first and then firefighters, who started performing CPR on the victim. Medics eventually arrived and rushed him to the hospital, he said.

Barwick, who moved here from Texas in December, said the shooting caught him off guard in a neighborhood not known for gun violence.

"We called our real estate agent immediately and said, 'Did you forget to tell us something?' " he said.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office officially declared the death a homicide Wednesday morning, the 10th of the year for Fort Wayne and Allen County.