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Slain would-be robber ID’d as 18

16-year-old cohort arrested; tenant-shooter not charged

Authorities have released the name of an 18-year-old shot to death Saturday night while trying to rob a man outside a south-side apartment house.

Jaquese N. Dandridge was armed with an airsoft handgun when he and another teen approached the man, a resident of the apartment house at West Packard and South Wayne avenues, Fort Wayne police said.

Dandridge, a city resident, got into a struggle with the man on or near the front steps of the building. The man drew his handgun and shot Dandridge several times, killing him. In the process, the man shot himself in the foot and received a minor wound, police said.

The other would-be robber, a 16-year-old, was not shot, and he ran away. Late Sunday, police tracked him down and arrested him on charges of battery and attempted armed robbery. He was taken to the Allen County Juvenile Center. Police did not release his name because of his age.

Police spokeswoman Raquel Foster said the 16-year-old was not armed during the robbery attempt and that he scuffled with a companion of the man who fired on Dandridge. She said the crime was random and the teens were seeking cash.

Police said the man who killed Dandridge called authorities right away to report what occurred. Officers and paramedics arrived at the apartment house about 11 p.m., and Dandridge was pronounced dead. Near his body, investigators found the airsoft handgun, police said.

Detectives questioned witnesses to the robbery attempt and shooting, including the man who fired his gun. He was not arrested, and police declined to identify him. A neighbor described him as a man in his 20s.

The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether the shooting was in self-defense, and the office will release the name of the shooter, Foster said.

The death of Dandridge was the 21st homicide in Allen County this year, the county coroner’s office said.