FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The first call for help at 5:53 a.m. came from a passerby who heard gunshots, then saw two men running around the back of the Marathon gas station at Hanna and Oxford streets.
“A man just got shot in his car!” the caller told dispatch, urgently asking for help as he stood by the victim’s car, his voice overcome with emotion.
When the dispatcher asked the caller if he knew who did it “so we can catch the bad guys,” the caller could only say the two runners went down the alley off Hamilton Street. Later, police found 16 shell casings at the scene.
The “who did it” part was reportedly identified by Fort Wayne police and Allen County prosecutors as Torrese Bobo, 24, now on trial for the murder of Daniel Nolan, and Bobo’s brother, Tony Jackson, 31, whose murder trial is scheduled for February.
To follow the trial is to know the small block of beloved and well-known south side streets where the bloodshed took place. In the early morning hours of May 2, 2021, after a night of partying at Club 44, Nolan, 33, and his alleged assailants got into an argument outside the strip club.
On surveillance video, Bobo can be seen “mean mugging” Nolan, according to the probable cause affidavit written by homicide detective Luke MacDonald.
Club security guards separated the two groups of men and Nolan proceeded to his home in the 3500 block of Hanna Street, but first turned into the parking lot of a barbershop at the corner of Lafayette Street and McKinnie Avenue. Intoxicated, he passed out with the lights on and the car running, a 9mm gun on his lap.
His clubbing pal knew he where he was and didn’t feel right about it, so he went back to the barbershop, woke Nolan up and had him drive his Mercedes home, thinking his friend would be fine.
That’s not what happened, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tom Chaille said during opening arguments Tuesday in Allen Superior Court. Inflamed by their mother who apparently had words with Nolan, Jackson and Bobo got Jackson’s girlfriend to follow them in her Saturn Vue as they walked north on Hanna Street and west onto Hamilton Avenue, turning her headlights off to park just west of the alley.
After the shooting, the car’s movements and the two men were captured on video, tracking them as they ran south down the alley and entered the Saturn before it fled south on South Monroe Street.
Yet another surveillance video – this time from the Marathon gas station at Hanna Street and McKinnie Avenue – showed two men come out from the alley, “walk slowly up towards the car and start shooting before running off back behind the gas station.” MacDonald noted there was no interaction between the shooters and Nolan.
Because there was no obvious interaction, Chaille called it a “brutal ambush.” Three specific points reportedly link Bobo and Jackson to the crime: the first was evidence that they “knew exactly what they were going to do.” Second, the fast police work by the Fort Wayne Police Department, a unit that has had a homicide clearance rate north of 80% since 2019.
Third, and just as important, are the witnesses police and prosecutors contacted and convinced to testify. Not all of them came forward, of course, but enough.
“Some individuals don’t trust the police, don’t trust the system,” Chaille told the jury.
For that reason, WANE 15 has agreed not to name Jackson’s girlfriend.
Bobo’s attorney, Robert Scremin, said in his opening arguments that “Mr. Bobo happened to be at Club 44, happened to be in an argument,” but if you look at the Club 44 video there was “no punching, no fighting” and the two groups went their separate ways. “That’s it,” Scremin said.
Jackson’s girlfriend “didn’t see the guy who was with Tony Jackson and couldn’t pick him out of the line-up.”
The state “wants you to believe that a second person killed Daniel Nolan,” Scremin told the jury. Bobo “was in no way shape or form, not ever present, much less guilty of murder.”
On Wednesday, Day Two of the trial in front of Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull, people associated with Club 44 on Coldwater Road are some of the witnesses expected to testify.