FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – By the time Fort Wayne police officers quietly surrounded a man at a Fort Wayne home on Wednesday, he was on the porch talking on a cell phone and smoking a cigarette completely unaware he was being watched.
Once more manpower arrived at the home along with the department’s drone unit, officers converged on 38-year-old Steven Atkins and took him into custody on charges connected to the killing of a woman gunned down Tuesday behind a home in the 1300 block of Lillie Street.
It’s a killing that thus far has no motive, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents that shed light on the killing of 20-year-old Kiera Zepke and Atkins’ arrest.
“While being taken into custody officers advised Steven said, without being prompted, this was the last cigarette he was going to have for a long time,” an investigator wrote in those court documents.
Atkins is facing a preliminary charge of murder for shooting Zepke and a preliminary charge of criminal recklessness for shooting at her boyfriend, as well.
He was also wanted on a parole violation at the time of his arrest.
Zepke was behind the wheel of a Chevy Malibu on Tuesday night with her boyfriend in the passenger seat when they parked behind her house and began talking.
That’s when Atkins is accused of approaching the car with his face obscured by a gaiter, Zepke’s boyfriend told police in court documents.
At one point, Atkins pulled the gaiter down off his face, the boyfriend said in court documents. The boyfriend told investigators he recognized Atkins and knew him as Steven “Blue” Atkins, according to court documents.
Then, Atkins is accused of telling the couple he was going to kill them, court documents said.
Shortly after, Atkins pulled out a handgun and began firing in the couple’s direction, the boyfriend said in court documents. Atkins fled north down an alley while the boyfriend turned to see Zepke on the ground.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, court documents said. The Allen County Coroner ruled her death a homicide.
A witness in the neighborhood said she heard a commotion outside and grabbed some binoculars she always kept by her bed, according to court documents. This witness told investigators Atkins, who she recognized, walked away from Zepke’s car and then ran down an alley.
Investigators tracked down a woman who knew Atkins the following day, court documents said.
She said she had picked Atkins up that morning, drove him to a home and then went out to try to get food and money for him. While she was out, he bombarded her with calls and text messages, according to court documents.
Even while she was about to speak with detectives.
The woman told police where Atkins was, and that’s when they surrounded the home and took him into custody.
He is due in court for an initial appearance Thursday, and is being held in Allen County Jail without bond.