Arrest made in shootout at SE-side gas station; police call victim a ‘hero’

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Police have made an arrest in an armed robbery that reportedly led to a subsequent shootout at a gas station on Fort Wayne’s southeast side earlier this week.

Police were called around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to the Sunoco gas station at 1416 Oxford St. on a report of a robbery and a shooting there.

Fort Wayne Police investigate an armed robbery and shooting at the Sunoco station on Oxford Street on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

A victim told police he was in a car with two other people at the gas station when someone came up to them and ordered them to hand over “items,” police said.

While that was happening, another man with the group walked out of the store and saw what was unfolding. He pulled out a gun and exchanged fire with the robbery suspect, police said.

The suspect and some of the victims then ran from the scene.

As police searched the area, they found the suspect about a block away with a handgun and a face mask nearby. Police said he was suffering from a gunshot wound.

Medics took the injured suspect to a hospital, but doctors determined his injuries were not life-threatening. He was identified Friday as 41-year-old Bruce King.

King faces charges of Armed Robbery, Theft, and Possession of a Handgun by a Serious Violent Felon. He is in custody at a local hospital, WANE 15 has learned.

Police later found all of the robbery victims that left the scene. Detectives took them to the police station to interview them about the incident.

On Friday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena called the initial victim a “hero” for what he did.

“I can clearly see on the [security] video that he’s giving instructions to the two females that are inside the car to stay down, to stay there because they were right in the middle of everything,” said Rosales-Scatena. “Clearly, you could see him shouting at them because they look like they’re taking direction and he saved them.”

The man defending the group against King does have a valid concealed carry permit for the gun he used. Police do not anticipate any charges being brought up against him because they say his actions were in self-defense. They say he handled himself well in a high-pressured situation that was dangerous for him as well as others in the area.

“There’s cross fire, there’s other patrons there at the gas station, there’s people driving on the streets, bullets are flying everywhere so it’s a very precarious position, of course, and we have two people presumably fairly untrained at firearms and tactics even though, I will say this, the victim handled himself very well.”

Rosales-Scatena said he took a risk because he had to get his gun from the car in order to stand up to King. She would recommend that he and others with concealed carry permits actually carry their guns with them instead of leaving them in a car.

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