FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man has been arrested on charges of two counts of murder for gunning down three young men at a Fort Wayne gas station Wednesday night. He went there to buy cigarettes but a “verbal confrontation” erupted into gunfire a short time later.
Joseph D. Bossard, 32, was also arrested on charges of aggravated battery for the incident that unfolded at the Shell gas station at 3170 E. State Blvd., at Hobson Road, around 7:20 p.m.
Thursday afternoon the Allen County Coroner’s Office identified the two who were killed as Anderson Retic, 19, of Fort Wayne and Joshua Cole Cooper, 19, also of Fort Wayne. Both Retic and Cooper were pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy determined they died from multiple gunshot wounds. Jaylin Rice, 20, is still in the hospital fighting for his life.
Fort Wayne Police were dispatched to the area on reports of a problem unknown, according to the police activity log. As officers were on the way, a shooting was reported at the gas station.
Responding officers found a vehicle crashed into a snow bank along Hobson Road a 1/2 mile south, with three males inside suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Two were pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Another was taken to an area hospital in critical condition.
According to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday, Bossard arrived gas station in a red Chevrolet Silverado pickup and bought a pack of cigarettes. Inside the store, Bossard got into “some kind of verbal confrontation with three young male black subjects” who were in the store shopping.
After leaving the store, surveillance video showed Bossard circle the three whom he’d been arguing with in his truck and almost hit one of them in the process, according to the affidavit. The pickup then drove off eastbound on State Boulevard.
Two minutes later, the same truck returned to the gas station and pulled up directly behind the their vehicle, the affidavit said. Bossard got out of his truck and “briskly” walked up to the driver’s side door and fired a handgun inside.
The car drove off as Bossard fired, and Bossard ran back to his truck and pursued southbound, the surveillance camera shows, according to the affidavit.
WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee reached out to the Shell gas station and asked for the surveillance video. According to the manager, every copy of the video was retrieved by Fort Wayne Police and is being used as evidence.
Shell casings were found both around the gas pump and around the crashed vehicle a short ways away, the affidavt said.
After the shooting, police released an image of the suspect. Bossard was tracked to a home in the 2200 block of Laverne Avenue.
Negotiators tried to contact him inside for almost two hours with no response before tactical officers shot a chemical agent in the home and he surrendered peacefully.
Bossard declined to speak with officers after he was taken into custody, the affidavit said. He was booked into the Allen County Jail on two charges of murder and one count of Aggravated Battery.
WANE 15’s Facebook page received many comments and shares from viewers devastated by the incident.
“It’s heartbreaking… it’s just heartbreaking. As officers, we are parents, we are mothers, we are fathers, we are brothers, and sisters and these things do affect us,” said Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena, Fort Wayne Police spokeswoman. “But we have a job to do, and I think the community expects us to. We will continue in the professional manner that we do.”
Sgt. Rosales-Scatena added that officers have a soft spot for families that are left behind after their loved one is taken away.
“That’s why our officers are out for countless hours, 20 to 26 hours in a row trying to get these cases wrapped up so that loved ones can get justice,” Sgt. Rosales-Scatena explained.
Inside Bossard’s home, police found one 9mm handgun and one .380 caliber handgun, the affidavit said.
Hobson Road was closed to traffic as police investigated the incident.