FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A suspect who died after a gun fight with Fort Wayne Police in a north-side neighborhood Saturday died by suicide, the Allen County Coroner’s Office has ruled.
Around 11:44 a.m., officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department responded to a house in the 10000 block of Hickory Tree Road, in the Woodmont neighborhood off Dupont and Lima Road, on a report of a disturbance inside a house where a gunshot had possibly been fired.
As officers were arriving on scene, a man fired on officers with an “assault rifle,” police said. Two Fort Wayne Police officers – Matthew Childs and Christopher Hawthorne – returned fired, and the suspect barricaded himself inside the house.
Officers maintained a perimeter until the Emergency Services Team (EST) and Crisis Response Teams (CRT) arrived. CRT negotiators and EST members attempted to make contact with the suspect, but the suspect would not cooperate. EST members eventually entered the house and found the man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Medics pronounced the man dead.
At the time, police said it was unknown if the suspect’s gunshot wound was self-inflicted or a result of the officers returning fire.
On Monday, the Allen County Coroner’s Office said 44-year-old Blake Stephen Parton died of a gunshot to the head and his death was ruled a suicide.
Several neighbors near the northwest Fort Wayne location called in the afternoon and described seeing at least 15 units surrounding the area, and one caller described counting as many as 50 driving down Dupont Road toward the scene.
Neighbors were told by police to stay inside, lock the doors and turn off the lights. There is crime scene tape around the houses surrounding the scene.
One caller was walking the Pufferbelly Trail and took shelter underneath the bridge after hearing gun shots and seeing blue and red lights nearby the Woodmont subdivision. Another called from their basement, where they sheltered with their children while police were positioned on their second-story porch.
No officers or any bystanders were injured.
At this time, investigators are interviewing any witnesses and persons involved in the initial incident, as well as collecting any evidence at the scene. The Indiana State Police will conduct a parallel investigation with the FWPD regarding the police action shooting.
The involved officer(s) will be placed on standard administrative leave to allow the investigation to proceed and give them time to cope with the traumatic incident.
Dupont Road is back open after being closed for over an hour from Coldwater to Lima Road.
This situation comes not long after a five-hour standoff in La Cabreah on Friday afternoon. No information suggests that the two incidents are related.
This incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department, Indiana State Police, Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
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