Man found dead in car at auto repair shop was shot, coroner says

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man found dead in a car outside an auto repair shop in far southeast Fort Wayne was shot to death, the Allen County Coroner said Thursday afternoon.

Police and medics responded to the corner of Wayne Trace and East Tillman Road around 11:35 Wednesday night after a tow truck driver called 911.

According to a sergeant at the scene, the tow truck driver was dropping off a vehicle at the shop after hours when he noticed a car on the lot with its door left open. When he walked over to check it out, he found a man inside who was unresponsive.

Medics evaluated the man when they arrived and pronounced him dead around 11:45 p.m.

Police officials said the man had a wound that may have been caused by a bullet, but they were waiting on the coroner’s report to officially confirm that.

Later Thursday, the Allen County Coroner’s Office said 26-year-old Nicholas James Elsner of Bluffton died of a gunshot. His death was ruled a homicide.

A sergeant and detective at the scene said they did not find a gun inside the car.

According to police, the repair shop was closed for business when the man was discovered, and no witnesses have come forward with information.

If you have any information about this incident or the man’s death, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 260-436-STOP.

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