‘It’s hard to explain to his 3-year-old that his father isn’t here’: Loved one reflects on triple shooting

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two children are left without their father after a shooting at a Shell gas station on Wednesday night left two dead. The mother of 19-year-old Anderson Retic’s three-year-old son spoke exclusively with WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee.

On Friday, in a phone conversation, Amia Pirtle said she doesn’t know how to feel right now, but of course one emotion she can’t seem to shake is sadness.

“It’s hard to explain to his three-year-old that his father is no longer here,” Pirtle said.

Photo courtesy of Amia Pirtle

Pirtle said that she and Retic’s family are taking it day by day, but all of the victims’ families need prayers at this time.

When reflecting on her time with the father of her child, she remembers him as a beautiful spirit.

“He was very funny, outgoing, he had a beautiful smile, the best smile ever, he could light up a room with his smile,” Pirtle said. “He was just nice, caring, loving, and he loved his children.”

She added that she is still in disbelief but is grateful that he left an amazing gift for her that she will always cherish, which is their son. He also leaves behind a daughter who will be a year old soon, her mother’s name is Daphne Hoover.

Photo courtesy of Amia Pirtle

Joseph D. Bossard, 32, was arrested on charges of two counts of murder for gunning down the three young men as well as aggravated battery.

Thursday afternoon the Allen County Coroner’s Office identified the two who were killed as Retic and Joshua Cole Cooper, 19, of Fort Wayne. Both Retic and Cooper were pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy determined they died from multiple gunshot wounds. The third man, Jaylin Rice, 20, is still in the hospital fighting for his life.

According to neighbors, Bossard is quiet and keeps to himself. He was also described as someone who has a short fuse and has caused multiple altercations in the neighborhood.

One neighbor who did not want to give his name said that he never had an issue with Bossard, even though Bossard has had heated situations with others in the neighborhood.

“I’ll go over there with a beer and say ‘hey it looks like you need a beer’. We’ll sit around and talk, we were talking about cats one day, we both feed the feral cats, so it became a competition,” explained the neighbor. “But he was very guarded, and he wasn’t really open. If I didn’t go over there, he wouldn’t come over my way.”

Bossard has his initial hearing Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the funeral/memorial service of Retic.

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