Mother shot dead with children in vehicle ID’d

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A community is in mourning after a young mother was gunned down in front of her children Tuesday night.

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 2500 block of South Anthony Boulevard around 9:45 p.m Tuesday.

Police at the scene said a woman was shot in a vehicle, with two children in the car with her. Police discovered them in an alleyway still inside the vehicle.

Police say she was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead. The children, ages 5 and 2, suffered minor injuries from broken glass.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office later Wednesday identified the victim as 23-year-old Lashonda Denise Eldridge of Fort Wayne. An autopsy found Eldridge died of gunshot wounds and her death was ruled a homicide.

Rolandrea Lewis said she and Eldridge were acquaintances. She was shocked to learn the news of her death and saddened that her own children had to witness it.

“I was sick,” she said. “Literally sick to my stomach. What if that was me and my children? Let this be it. We’ve had enough. It’s been enough. But now this has to literally be it, because our children are becoming involved in this violence.”

Lewis is working to collect donations for Eldridge’s children. Lewis said donations can be dropped off at Wings on the Fly food truck, Optimistic’s Hair Salon and Above Average Barbershop.

There were at roughly 15 police vehicles on scene.

Police said they do not currently have a suspect, and the investigation is ongoing.

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