Man arrested for shooting friend after night out now faces murder charge

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Police Department announced Thursday that John Vires, 37, has been formally charged with murdering his friend after drinking and playing billiards at a Fort Wayne bar Tuesday evening.

Police and medics were called just after 1 a.m. to the area of Franklin Avenue and Spring Street, just north of downtown Fort Wayne, on reports of a subject armed with a gun.

John Vires

A caller told police that a man entered a home in the area and fired a gun.

When officers got to the scene, they were directed to a home in the 1600 block of Franklin Avenue. Inside, they located a man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

He was identified in court records as William Erhardt.

The Allen County Coroner said the cause of death is gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death is homicide.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officers at the scene detained Vires, who told them “I had to shoot him.”

In an interview with police, Vires said he had gone to A&O Bar on High Street with Erhardt to play pool and have some drinks. Vires said at one point in the night, he went outside to smoke, and Erhardt followed him and began punching him in the face, the affidavit said.

Vires said he drove Erhardt back to his home, and they both went inside and they began to argue.

Vires said he got his gun from his bedroom so “Bill would not be able to hit him anymore,” the affidavit said. Vires said he shot Erhardt once, when he was three to five feet away from him.

Vires said he told Erhardt he was sorry for shooting him and that it was his fault, the affidavit said. Vires then called police for help, the affidavit said.

Vires is schedule to be in court on Monday.

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