FWPD: Officer who shot man making suicidal threats gave ‘loud verbal commands’

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Police in a statement Monday identified the officer who fired at a man after responding to a disturbance last Friday evening.

Officer Allissa Barnhorst responded to the 800 block of Lemonwood Court on Friday regarding a disturbance involving suicide threats. She was confronted by Thomas May, 36, who was armed with a gun. May pointed the gun towards Officer Barnhorst during the incident, according to an FWPD spokesperson.

Officer Barnhorst allegedly gave repeated commands to drop the gun as she retreated from May. However, May continued to advance towards the officer.

After continuing to give “loud verbal commands” to drop the gun, Officer Barnhorst then fired one round, which struck May, according to FWPD.

May was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officer Barnhorst was hired by Fort Wayne Police in September 2011. Since the beginning of her service, she has received letters of reprimand for a pair of police vehicle accidents in 2012 and 2018, along with using “unreasonable force” in 2017, according to her personnel record. Officer Barnhorst was also suspended for an unauthorized absence in 2021.

May was arrested on Sunday after his release from the hospital. He is facing 13 felony charges stemming from the shooting:

  • 4 counts – Pointing a loaded firearm (Level 6 Felony)
  • 6 counts – Criminal Recklessness with a deadly weaspon (Level 6 Felony)
  • 2 counts – Intimindation (Level 5 Felony)
  • 1 count – Neglect of a Dependent (Level 6 Felony)

No officers or bystanders were hurt in the incident.

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