A would-be robber became the 40th homicide victim in Allen County on Monday morning while attempting to break into an apartment at the Black Bear Creek Apartments on the city’s northeast side.
The man, whose identity has not been released, is the second person shot and killed while attempting a robbery at the apartment complex.
About 18 months ago, on April 12, 2012, Patrick M. Lee, 18, was fatally shot while attempting to rob an apartment there. The man who lived in the apartment, David A. Kain Jr., was cleared of wrongdoing by the prosecutor’s office, which determined he acted in self-defense.
The attempted robbery Monday left a second man seriously wounded, and police said another would-be robber fled the scene.
About 6:20 a.m. Monday, Fort Wayne police responded to 1680 Reed Road to a report about a shooting at an apartment. Officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. The first died at the scene, and the second was taken to a hospital.
Police would later learn the double shooting was the result of a home invasion, where the man who was killed was trying to break into an apartment.
The would-be robber killed Monday had been identified by the Allen County Coroner’s office, which was withholding his name pending notification of his family. His death was ruled the county’s 40th homicide; all but two of those have occurred within Fort Wayne city limits.
The man who was seriously wounded was in an apartment with a woman and a child at the time of the attempted robbery.
The early-morning violence came as a surprise to many in the complex.
One woman, who declined to give her name, said she was visiting with her daughter when she received a text message from a friend, concerned about her safety.
The woman said she hadn’t heard about the shooting until about 10 a.m. when she saw police cars and news vehicles.
I didn’t know what was going on, she said. My daughter moved in two months ago and it’s been really quiet. This was strange.
Jill M. Herron, Vice President of Property and Asset Management for the complex, issued a statement Monday.
As the management company for Black Bear Apartments, we are always concerned about the safety and welfare of our residents, Herron said in the statement. We understand from police and media reports that an individual who was not a resident of the Black Bear Creek Apartments was shot in one of the apartments Monday morning. We will continue to cooperate with authorities in this matter until the case is resolved.
It was unclear from police reports whether the shooting occurred inside the apartment or where the wounded men were found. It was also unclear whether the man who was seriously wounded was a resident of the apartment complex. Messages left for Fort Wayne Police spokesman Officer Michael Joyner were not returned Monday.
The robbery remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 436-7867.