Jesse Allen leaned against his van at the BP gas station Thursday and looked over to Legendary Barbershop where his cousin, Michael Eugene LoVett Jr., was gunned down as he stepped outside his shop.
“I know he knew the guy (who shot him),” Allen said as his eyes marked the makeshift memorial set up outside LoVett's shop in the 1700 block of Lake Avenue, close to the intersection at North Anthony Boulevard. “It'll be a matter of time before they catch him.”
LoVett was officially identified as the victim Thursday by the Allen County coroner and is the sixth homicide victim in Allen County this year.
He died from multiple gunshot wounds, the coroner's release said. At the scene Tuesday, shortly after police were called around 6:20 p.m., numerous yellow cards were placed on the ground indicating where shell casings were found.
Detectives have been canvassing local nearby businesses and homeowners to see if camera surveillance will help identify LoVett's assailants.
Police have identified two possible suspects. Information suggests that one of those suspects ran toward Lakeside Park, a block away from the shooting scene, according to an email from Sofia Rosales-Scatena, Fort Wayne Police Department public information officer.
“There also may be two separate cars involved, one possibly being teal (in color), but no make or model. Detectives are sifting through witness accounts and other information currently,” Rosales-Scatena added.
LoVett, 46, had owned the barbershop for about six years, Allen said. He had been an athlete, like his brothers, playing basketball at South Side High School. His nickname was “The Champ.”
LoVett had moved with family to Texas, but returned to Fort Wayne and opened his barbershop, Allen said.
“He was a good person,” said Allen, 46, who grew up with LoVett. “He loved his family. His favorite rapper was Tupac. Kids would come in and he'd talk to them and he talked to his homeboys. A lot of people respected him.”
Allen said the shooting apparently was the result of an argument that took place inside the barbershop. “In the barbershop, you get into a lot of discussions,” Allen said.
A funeral service will be held for LoVett at noon April 20, with calling at 11 a.m., at Carmichael Funeral Service on East Jefferson Boulevard.
A previous version of this story misstated the date of a funeral service for Michael Eugene LoVett Jr. It will be held April 20.