FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The first person to come to a teen shooting victim’s aid earlier this week said the experience changed his perspective on crime in Fort Wayne.
Arthur Wilson lives near the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Rudisill Boulevard. He was relaxing at home and watching television Monday night when he heard an unmistakable sound from right outside of his window.
“While I’m going through the channels, I hear three loud pops,” said Wilson.
He looked outside and saw Tyriece Sutton, 18, on the ground close to the intersection. Investigators say Sutton was outside walking when he was shot. Wilson sprang into action.
“Once I saw him screaming, I ran out of the house and went to assist him.”
Wilson’s family call 9-1-1 and then followed him outside to see if Sutton was alright. At the time, he said Sutton was struggling to breathe and had pain in his spine. The injuries were later determined to be life-threatening. Wilson said he stayed by Sutton’s side and tried to comfort him while they waited for help.
“I can’t imagine how it would feel if I was the one laying on the ground injured, not knowing what’s going to happen in the next seconds or couple of minutes so I just wanted to do for him what I would pray someone would do for me.”
Wilson has lived in that neighborhood for more than a decade and said he always felt safe there and still does, but he never anticipated something like this would happen so close to home.
“This is a wonderful neighborhood to live in,” said Wilson. “It’s common for people to be out walking their dogs, jogging, saying hello to each other, being very friendly although probably within a three or four-mile radius of this location there are and have been acts of violence, we’ve always conducted ourselves as if things like that were immune to this area, maybe sort of ignorant, a little bit.”
The hardest part for him was explaining the situation to his children. The experience has given him a new understanding that numbers don’t tell the whole story when it comes to living in areas troubled with violent crimes.
“I’m a father and to have to beg and plead with my youngest son about his safety while walking to the bus stop, that was hard,” said Wilson. “I understand now, very much so, how some of my fellow residents in other parts of this city that have had numerous experiences with things of this nature are alarmed and concerned and now it is a concern of mine.”
When the police began asking around for security videos, Wilson said it got him thinking about how secure his street really was. He wondered how many homes had security cameras and if there were enough lights turned on, on his street at night. Wilson has not been able to discuss these concerns at length with his neighbors yet but said he trusts his community.
“It’s not necessarily an issue with the neighborhood or the environment,” said Wilson. “Trouble just sometimes shows up, but what is reassuring about the trouble that visited our neighborhood is that I feel like our neighbors, our community rose up. We were there, we were concerned, we took action.”
Wilson, who works with people Sutton’s age through his work as Campus Pastor and Dean of Spiritual Life at Huntington University, said he was glad that it appeared Sutton will survive. He hopes Sutton is able to move past what happened to him.
“I think that things that happen to us, although some very tragic, if we understand our purpose even the tragic things can be used for good,” said Wilson. “I would want to encourage him to discover that purpose and to allow people who will make themselves available to help him get to that purpose.”
Police said Tuesday that Sutton was likely targeted and that does not appear the shooting was related to any other shootings. They are asking anyone with information to contact them.
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