FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne police have charged a 27-year-old man with attempted murder and aggravated battery related to a shooting on July 29 at 4521 Gaywood Dr.
Jaquell Franklin was detained in a traffic stop by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and Valparaiso Police Department, according to a release from Jeremy Webb, public information officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Franklin was fleeing to Chicago when the Porter County authorities pulled him over in a coordinated stop with Fort Wayne police.
“According to Valparaiso police, he had all of his bags packed and he told them he was moving to Chicago,” Matt Wilson, head of Fort Wayne homicide told WANE. “He has family up in in Illinois.
He was detected in his own vehicle around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday when he was located going westbound on U.S. 30. Authorities were alerted and Fort Wayne officers were able to appear at the scene in Valparaiso to make the arrest, Wilson said. If Franklin had made it to Chicago, the vehicle would have been much more difficult to find.
In a probable cause affidavit written by homicide detective Luke MacDonald, one of the victims, Vincent Harris, Jr., identified “Jaquell” as the shooter and said there’d been some problems in the past with him. He mentioned that “Jaquell” was the shooter when his son was shot at the same location a couple of months before. Police found Smith & Wesson shell casings after his son’s shooting, he said.
Harris got shot in the left elbow as he was getting into his red tow truck around 5:00 p.m., he said. He was in the driver’s seat and just swinging the door closed when a small Ford Focus with dark tinted windows pulled up going the opposite direction.
The windows on the Ford were rolled down a few inches and Harris could see a black handgun coming out of the window opening, court documents said.
No words were exchanged before the driver, now identified as Franklin, started firing rounds in his direction and drove away. Harris said Franklin is his nephew.
David Smith was the second victim who was shot multiple times. One bullet lodged near his spine, causing his lower body to be paralyzed and lacerating a lower left lung, according to doctors at Lutheran hospital. His wounds were deemed life threatening, court documents said.
At the scene, the same kind of shell casings from a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun were found. Surveillance footage available from neighborhood residents showed the sedan with dark colored rims driving south on Gaywood and stopping in front of the victim’s red tow truck.
Franklin was tracked down after homicide detectives located a gray 2010 Ford Fusion that belonged to Franklin’s mother and put an alert on this vehicle, the same vehicle was tracked to Porter County. Court documents say Porter County authorities found two boxes of ammunition and one box with .40 caliber bullets. Police also located a universal style holster and two cell phones.
Franklin’s cell phone was tracked to a friend who’d been in a romantic relationship with Franklin for more than a year. Just after the shooting, police discovered he arrived at her residence. He was wearing his fanny pack and firearm and “put the gun in the couch cushions like he typically does,” court documents said.
When he came back a couple of days later, Franklin told her he went to Indianapolis for the weekend, but he seemed “off.”
During the interview Tuesday with Franklin after his arrest, he denied knowing anything about the shooting, said he wasn’t there at that time and offered no explanation as to why his car and cell phone were at the scene. He told detectives he has not had a gun since 2015.
Franklin was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail – $50,000 for the attempted murder charge and $10,000 for aggravated battery, according to a jail spokesman.