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The Journal Gazette

  • Jamie Duffy | The Journal Gazette Law enforcement and emergency vehicles surround the AutoZone store in the 300 block of East Rudisill Boulevard on Sunday night. A man was fatally shot by police after authorities say he fired at officers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 5:44 am

Gunman slain by police declared homicide

Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Coroner’s Office has identified the man shot and killed by Fort Wayne police.

Abraham Martinez, 62, of Fort Wayne is the county's fifth homicide so far this year, officials said in a news release today. The man died from a gunshot wound around 10 p.m. Sunday, according to the coroner’s office.

Fort Wayne police and Indiana State Police released an identical news release Sunday night and early Monday, saying that officers with both departments responded to a report of a man firing a gun at AutoZone, 310 E. Rudisill Blvd.

When they arrived, officers saw a man outside the business armed with a handgun. Inside the store was another man wounded by the gunman, according to the release.

The man armed with a gun ran from police, and as they pursued him, he fired at the officers. Police returned fire, and the man was fatally wounded. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The injured man was taken from the store and transported to a hospital in serious condition, according to the release.

The shootings remain under investigation by the Indiana State Police, Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

The last fatal police-action shooting in Allen County was in June, when Fort Wayne police Officer Nicholas Lichtsinn shot Anthony Hodge in the 2400 block of St. Marys Avenue. 

The 46-year-old Hodge had probably been drinking and had been quarreling with a person at the home before he took off for his house about a block away, police said at the time.

Lichtsinn and a rookie officer he was training went to Hodge’s home, where they found him in the doorway, armed with a large-caliber revolver that he refused to put down despite repeated requests.

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards ruled that Lichtsinn was justified in using deadly force against Hodge, having acted in self-defense.

In August, Fort Wayne police officers shot Anthony Gant, 43, one of two men believed to have just robbed a Dollar General Store at 3121 E. State Blvd.

Gant was taken from the scene in critical condition and later was formally charged with two counts each of armed robbery and criminal confinement with a weapon. He is scheduled to stand trial in July.

Sunday’s shooting comes less than 24 hours after 27-year-old Howard County Sheriff Deputy Carl Koontz was killed and Howard County Sheriff Sgt. Jordan Buckley was wounded in a shootout with 25-year-old Evan T. Dorsey in Russiaville when police tried to serve a search warrant at his mobile home. 

Dorsey was found dead inside the home about two hours later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.