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Police and fire

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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
EST officers rescue the 3-year-old boy who was held hostage by Kenneth Knight at 3018 Holton Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

Snipers named in fatal police-action shooting during standoff

FORT WAYNE – Two city police officers involved the police-action shooting that killed suspect Kenneth Knight on Wednesday during a tense hostage situation with a 3-year-old boy have been named.

Fort Wayne police Chief Rusty York named them Thursday:

  • Keith W. Wallace, 43, has been on the force for 12 years, two of them with the Emergency Services Team. He received a meritorious service commendation in 2011 and received letters of commendation five times. He was issued a letter of reprimand in 2012 in connection with a police vehicle accident, and has been suspended several times over the years, mainly for crashes and for being absent without leave several times, according to police department records.
  • Martin P. Grooms, 43, has been on the force for seven years, seven of them with the Emergency Services Team. He received a citation for meritorious service in 2008, with a spotless record, according to department records.
Neither had been involved in a police-action shooting before, York said.

Both of them, plus the lead negotiator, who was not named, has each been given a five-day administrative leave and access to a psychologist, the chief said.

York said he spoke to all three on Wednesday and again Thursday.

“All three gentlemen are professionals. It's a tough situation – I let them know, if there's anything they need, they can contact any one of (the command staff),” York said. “It's a very traumatic event. It's one you train for throughout your career, but obviously you hope it never happens.”