FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The man charged with the shooting deaths of two young men and the near-death of yet another was found incompetent in court Tuesday.
Joseph Bossard, 33, appeared in Allen Superior Court with his attorney, Travis Friend, of the law firm, Haller & Colvin, after a competency evaluation was filed Nov. 7 by Dr. Stephen Ross, a forensic psychologist who has testified in many trials. The hearing was held Tuesday before Allen Superior Court Judge David Zent after being delayed because of a quarantine, according to court documents.
Bossard has two more competency hearings scheduled for Nov. 29 with doctors hired by the state and Dec. 19 with doctors evaluating him for the defense, court documents indicate. Bossard has another status hearing scheduled for Jan. 6 after these two competency hearings.
Bossard’s 10-day trial remains scheduled starting Feb. 27.
On Feb. 18, 2021, Bossard is accused of killing Anderson Retic, 19, and Joshua Cole Cooper, 19, both of Fort Wayne, as he shot them at the Shell gas station at East State Boulevard and Hobson Road before continuing his pursuit after they took off from pump 9 in a blue 2008 Hyundai Sonata. Jaylin Rice, 20, was also shot, but survived his life-threatening injuries.
Allen County prosecutors have filed for life without parole. Bossard was charged with two counts murder, one count attempted murder, aggravated battery inflicting injury that causes substantial risk of death, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and using a firearm in the commission of an offense, an enhancement which adds 20 years on to a sentence.
Around 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Police were dispatched to the area on reports of a problem unknown. As officers were on the way, a shooting was reported at the gas station.
Responding officers found the Hyundai crashed into a snow bank along Hobson Road a 1/2 mile south, with three males inside suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Officers frantically tried to revive them as they lay in the snow. Two were pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Rice was taken to an area hospital in critical condition.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Bossard arrived the 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 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 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, pursuing them southbound, the surveillance camera showed, the affidavit said.
Shell casings were found both around the gas pump and around the crashed Hyundai.
Just after the shooting, police released an image of the suspect. An officer combing the neighborhood found Bossard’s red pickup outside his home in the 2200 block of Laverne Avenue.
Negotiators attempted contact with him for nearly almost two hours with no response before tactical officers shot a chemical agent in the home and he surrendered peacefully around 11 p.m.
Inside Bossard’s home, police found a 9mm handgun and a .380 caliber handgun, the affidavit said.
This isn’t the first time Bossard has appeared in court on competency issues. On Jan. 10, Allen Superior Court Judge David Zent found that after both the defense and prosecution hired doctors to evaluate Bossard’s competency, Bossard was capable of “understanding the proceedings and assist in the preparation of his defense.”