FORT WAYNE –
As the crime scene stretched across the 3800 block of Oliver Street, children arriving home from school Tuesday afternoon found yellow tape anchored to their porches.
Dozens of people stood around in the cold and damp watching police investigate a shooting death that will likely be Allen County's 44th and record-tying homicide this year. Most of the homicides have occurred within Fort Wayne city limits.
A few residents and passers-by expressed outrage at the ongoing saga of violence, largely confined to Fort Wayne's southeast side.
Earlier in the day, the Allen County coroner's office identified homicide victim No. 43 – Johnny Erick Wiggins. The 31-year-old former Beloit, Wis., resident was found shot to death Sunday afternoon behind the 3100 block of Central Drive.
The shooting Tuesday afternoon occurred inside a small gray house at 3804 Oliver St., just a few yards from Rudisill Boulevard. The resident of the home called police about 3:25 p.m. to report a shooting, police said.
When officers arrived, they found the man shot multiple times and in critical condition. He died later at a hospital. Witnesses told investigators that two men left the home and got into a maroon van, headed south toward Rudisill Boulevard, police said.
As the sunlight faded on Oliver Street, officer Jeremy Webb, a Fort Wayne Police spokesman, was asked what he and his colleagues have been asked all year long – what is behind the spate of violence?
Webb said there was nothing to point to directly as an overall cause.
"All we can do is solve one homicide at a time," Webb said.
A few hours later, though, at the City Council meeting, Police Chief Rusty York said a little more.
"A lot of the people are involved in gang activity and drug activity. They're setting up robberies of each other. There's retribution," he said.
"And everyone involved is part of it, so they're not coming forward. Some of it almost reads like a crime novel," the chief said. "The one today was an execution-style homicide, just like the one we had Sunday and the three before that."
The identity of Tuesday's shooting victim and the manner of death will be determined during an autopsy expected today.
Allen County's previous record of 44 homicides was set in 1997.
Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.
- For details and locations of other 2013 homicides, click here: