Fort Wayne mayor on triple shooting: ‘We’re better than that’

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said he’s “terribly concerned” about the incident where three young men were gunned down at a city gas station last week.

Henry spoke to WANE 15 on Wednesday, a week after a shooting at the Shell gas station at 3170 E. State Blvd., at Hobson Road, that left two young men dead and a third badly hurt. The incident, Henry said, caused him pain.

It’s not Fort Wayne, the mayor said.

“In a time there is a situation like that, I’m terribly concerned… I feel a lot of pain because that’s not the type of community that we are. We’re better than that,” said Henry. “To have individuals take somebody’s life when it is not necessary is truly a sad, sad statement.”

Henry said he was grieving along with the entire community. He told WANE 15 he plans on writing a letter to the victims’ families to let them know that he’s concerned and tell them his door is open to them if they wish to meet.

He applauded the Fort Wayne Police Department for the quick apprehension of a suspect, but he said justice still needs to be served.

“Obviously my desire is to make sure that whoever is ultimately responsible for the deaths of those two young men needs to be held accountable,” said Mayor Henry.

What being “held accountable” will look like is up to the court system, the mayor said.

Many have called the triple shooting racially motivated because the victims were young black men and the suspect is a white man. Henry said he hopes race did not play a role.

“We’re trying very hard in our city to be as inclusive as possible, to really go to great lengths to kind of make sure that everyone is treated equally in our community, and if this was a crime that was racially motivated, then that needs to be taken into account, as well,” said Mayor Henry.

Although the overall crime rate in Fort Wayne was down about 15 percent last year, homicides were up. Henry said that concerns both him and the police staff.

He said Fort Wayne Police are continuously working to solve and prevent crimes from happening by giving officers as many tools as possible.

“We have hired more police officers and we’re going to have a lateral class this year of over a dozen new officers. We are hopefully going to have our City Council approve another couple 100 body cams,” said Mayor Henry.

Despite this incident, Henry said he still believes “Fort Wayne is an extremely safe place to live.”

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