FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne police used witnesses, home surveillance footage and even a location app on a cell phone to corner a 16-year-old accused of shooting another teen during what may have been a fake drug deal this past weekend, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.

Allen County prosecutors on Thursday formally charged Austin M. Moran as an adult with one count of murder in connection with the death of 19-year-old Yael Edu Esparza.

Moran is accused of making statements that he planned to rob Esparza after setting up a deal to buy drugs for him, but also claimed at one point Esparza had a gun and he acted in self-defense, according to court documents.

Police were called to the 300 block of West Wildwood Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Sunday night where they found Esparza suffering from multiple gunshot wounds while sitting in the driver’s seat of a white Ford Escape.

Fort Wayne Police investigate a shooting along West Wildwood Avenue on Oct. 2, 2022.

Medics took Esparza to a local hospital where he later died. The Allen County Coroner later ruled his death a homicide.

Witnesses in the neighborhood readily spoke to police shortly after the shooting, according to court documents.

One witness told officers in court documents as he pulled up to his home just before the shooting someone approached his vehicle and said: “Are you him? Oh, you’re not him.” This person was described as a thin male who then began ducking back into alleys, the witness told police.

Video surveillance from a nearby home captured Esparza’s SUV travelling west on Wildwood Avenue before making a U-Turn at the intersection with Weber Street. Seconds later, the video captured five gunshots, screams, more gunshots and more screaming, according to court documents.

The video also captured someone running away from the SUV, court documents said.

Another witness told police a male with red hair in a ponytail wearing black pants and a grey sweatshirt ran from the scene. And yet another witness came forward to tell police the person who ran from the scene was a friend of his family.

One officer familiar with the neighborhood and also familiar with Moran then went to Moran’s home. There, this officer spoke with someone who knew Moran. This witness said she had an application on her phone that tracked Moran’s location.

When the witness opened the app, though, Moran had shut his location off. The witness called Moran while police stood with her, court documents said. At first, Moran said he was in Kendallville, and then he said: “It happened an hour and a half ago.”

While officers listened to the conversation, Moran said during the phone call that he “texted my friend to buy drugs and he had a gun, strap out a gun and I self defense and I reflexed and I pulled mine out and shot,” an investigator wrote in court documents.

An officer asked Moran if he really shot someone, and Moran replied, “Yes, I shot someone,” according to court documents.

The officer encouraged Moran to begin walking home, and a K-9 officer who had been canvassing the area took him into custody.

Police asked if Moran ditched a gun anywhere in the neighborhood, and he told them he left it near the SUV, according to court documents. A Smith and Wesson handgun reported stolen from Kendallville was found near the rear of Esparza’s SUV. No other firearms were found.

Later, another witness told police he was with Moran all day. This witness told police Moran made comments that the was going to “rip” Esparza for “the carts” they agreed to buy from him, according to court documents.

The witness said he had no interest in doing this and left Moran. When this witness heard gunshots, he circled back to the area and found Moran on the porch of a home in a daze, court documents said.

“The defendant told (the witness) that he shot Esparza, he would not die, so the defendant said he kept shooting and had dropped his gun at the scene,” an investigator wrote in court documents.

Moran was taken to the Allen County Juvenile Center without incident, police said.

Since Allen County prosecutors have charged him as an adult, he will likely be transported to the Allen County Jail.