FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Police believe a string of incidents where gunshots were fired into homes are a result of gang retaliation.
Sgt. Tim Hughes, the head of the department’s homicide division, told WANE 15 that a group of teenagers are behind the shootings and some suspects are already in custody on unrelated charges.
“Our investigation is leading us to believe that it’s the same group,” he said. “About six to ten juveniles.”
Last week, Fort Wayne Police said the shootings on Logan, Euclid and Senate Avenues are “all linked.” In two of the shootings, two boys were hurt. In the other, a man was killed. The shootings occurred within blocks of each other and each time the gunshots were fired from outside.
Hughes said the people involved have gang ties and they are working to make more arrests.
“Some of the names that we keep hearing over and over and over again are confirmed gang members,” said Hughes. “If they’re not confirmed they’re at least known associates of gang members.”
In the first incident, just before 2 a.m. Jan. 12, police and medics were called to the 3200 block of Logan Avenue after a 8-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound near his shoulder and chest. He was hospitalized with “life-threatening” injuries but was later listed as stable.
Two days later, on Jan. 14, a 13-year-old boy was seriously hurt after someone fired shots into a home at 3804 Euclid Ave., near East Rudisill and South Anthony boulevards, around 10:45 p.m. The boy was taken to a hospital in serious condition but his injuries were believed to be non-life-threatening.
In that incident, police said someone knocked on the door of the home and when the boy to the door to answer, someone fired multiple shots.
Finally, just after midnight Monday morning, police responded to 3411 Senate Ave., near Hessen Cassel and McKinnie Avenue. There, 49-year-old Than Kahn Khai suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the neck.
The ages of those believed to be perpetrating the violence is especially concerning for detectives.
“Regardless of somebody’s situation,” said Hughes. “You don’t want to see another child…even some of the juveniles we’re looking at as suspects…you don’t want to see them dying on the streets or being shot while sleeping in their beds.”
While police are doing their part to get the criminals off the street, Hughes is asking parents to be more aware of what their children are doing.
“Often what we find when we run into kids in the middle of the night is we ask them where their parents are and they don’t know,” he said. “So maybe it’s time for parents to stop going out to the club on the weekend and stay home. Make sure their kids are home instead of running around our city acting like idiots.”
Fort Wayne Police are asking anyone with information, no matter how small it seems, to call Fort Wayne Police at 427-1201 and ask to speak to a homicide detective or call Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers at 1-800-237-7867.