FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While detectives are working to find the person accused of shooting at two Fort Wayne police officers Tuesday night, the department is grateful this isn’t a common occurrence in Fort Wayne.
“It is out of the ordinary, but it can happen anywhere,” Officer Michael Joyner said. “The fact is, it can happen on any investigation. The bottom line, though, is that our officer went home to his family and is on the job again today.”
“Typically we don’t face those situations, but the fact is, it can happen on any investigation.” – Michael Joyner, FWPD
Police were responding to a ‘shots fired’ call in the Saint Joe Boulevard area when someone in the second story of the home at 1428 Saint Joe Boulevard shot at them down in the alley. One of the two officers returned fire. The SWAT team was then called in and when commands to come out of the house went unanswered, SWAT officers went in. The house was empty.
“In that time shots were fired from inside out toward our officer and him retreating to cover and returning fire it allowed this person or persons to leave,” Joyner said.
No one was hurt, but neighbors are rattled.
“It was pretty scary. There’s new people who just moved in there. I’m definitely going to find a different neighborhood,” one woman who lives nearby told NewsChannel 15.
Another neighbor said his cousin knows who was doing the shooting and said that he was firing out of the window to celebrate the holiday and not trying to hit police.
“We have instances of celebratory gunfire that is in the air. But, when you direct that aggression to an officer, I can’t relate that to the Fourth of July. I can only relate that to stupidity,” Joyner said. “Investigators are working hard doing the next steps to resolve this and I guarantee you, we will resolve this.”
There are six apartments in the house and Tuesday’s ‘shots fired’ call was the fourth police call to that address this year. Officers were called to that home ten times in 2016.
See the police call logs for 1428 Saint Joe Blvd. here:
Joyner estimates it’s been at least five years since he recalls people shooting at Fort Wayne police officers.
“It speaks well of this community. There’s something about this city of churches, this moral thread that they dare not cross. It speaks well of our training and personnel in our department of how we approach situations we hopefully don’t find ourselves in these situations,” he said. “Every day we put the uniform on, we understand that it might be our last day. We rely on our training and we rely on the people we’re going to help and assist to do the right thing.”
Anyone who has any information about the incident should call police.
“We can take this person or persons off the street that need to be off the street for a long time,” Joyner said.