The man killed Wednesday after authorities said he rammed his van into a southeast Fort Wayne apartment building until it exploded died by suicide, according to the Allen County coroner.
Emergency crews responded around 2:45 p.m. to the 4000 block of Wayne Trace, between Rudisill and McKinney, on reports of a vehicle and building fire.
Fort Wayne Police spokesman Michael Joyner said when officers arrived, they found a van had rammed the front facade of an apartment building inside the Three Fountains Cooperative complex.
An officer approached the vehicle and found it was still occupied by a driver, Joyner said. The driver ignored the officer’s commands to get out of the vehicle and he revved the van, pushing it into the building all the more.
Joyner said ultimately the driver “over-taxed” the engine and the van became engulfed in flames.
The officer was not able to get the driver out of the vehicle, and he was killed in the flames, Joyner said.
A person inside the apartment at the time of the incident was able to escape unharmed, he added.
The Allen County Coroner’s Office on Thursday identified the victim as 44-year-old Ye Htut Naing of Fort Wayne. His cause of death was found to be Thermal Burns and his death was ruled a suicide.
A spokesperson at the coroner’s office said that an autopsy would not be conducted on the victim because the cause of death was a “clear suicide.” It’s not clear how the investigation determined that.
Joyner said police were called to the same address earlier in the day on a “domestic-type situation,” and there was some sort of relationship between the driver of the van and the resident. He did not explain the relationship further.
Numerous police squad cars and fire engines were called to the scene.