David Roach Democrat Mayor
auth&PD4 Roach4Mayor Committee DCRoach Treas.
Friday, January 2, 2015
FWPD CHIEF GARY HAMILTON- 'THE DARK KNIGHT; THE BLUE CAPED CRUSADER..
EBY AVENUE SHOOTING- MURDER CAUGHT ON VIDEO CAMERA..
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As Garry Hamilton winds down his first year as Fort Wayne police chief, much fewer people have been killed. But that doesn’t mean gun violence has gone down.
When city leaders swore in Hamilton as the new chief on January 2, Allen County was reeling over a record number of 45 homicides in 2013. So Hamilton gave a direct message to the criminals involved: “Leave the city of Fort Wayne, ’cause we’re coming after you.”
As 2014 comes to a close, this year’s homicide count has dropped to 16 — the lowest since 1984. But that statistic is only part of the story.
The city has seen 93 shootings this year — the highest since 1997.
“That’s really disheartening when you put a lot of effort in but you see the increase in shootings so far this year,” Hamilton said. “You’ve got to give credit to the medical staff who are treating these individuals with their wounds or injuries. That helped quite a bit.”
When it comes to crime prevention, Hamilton pointed to an open door policy in his office. It’s a new policy that’s invited more tips aimed at solving the shootings.
“Today I had a mother who came in and expressed concerns about the safety of her son who was a victim of a shooting,” Hamilton explained. “But I needed her to also have her son to cooperate with us and give us more information to identify the shooter. And I think she’s willing to do that.”
The new chief said his biggest challenge was building a stronger relationship with the community, especially with controversial police incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.
“I think the relationship is good but it can be improved. I think things going on across the country have exposed some bad blood between the citizens of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Police Department,” Hamilton said. “So to find some ways to bridge that gap…and I think the mayor’s round table was a step in the right direction.”
Hamilton admits he was nervous taking on the role. He’s carrying the weight of a department in what has proved to be a dangerous line of duty.
“Sometimes you find yourself up at night worrying about the officers and you worry about things that are happening,” he said. “You feel responsible for everything that takes place.”
But in the end, he’s ending the year with the same firm words in which he started it: “Don’t commit a crime in Allen County, particularly within the city of Fort Wayne, because we’re coming after you.”
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – NewsChannel 15’s overnight reporter Rod Hissong obtained surveillance video which shows Monday night’s fatal shooting on Eby Avenue unfold. Police have since arrested two men in connection to the murder of 26-year-old John Damarcus Holman.
WARNING: While the footage is not graphic, some may consider it disturbing.
In the video you can see several vehicles driving on Eby Avenue: a car, van, and a large SUV. Suddenly a large SUV comes to a stop. Someone comes out of the right side of the vehicle and begins shooting at the van. You can also hear other shots being fired too.
It all happened around 10:15 p.m. Monday. After receiving multiple 911 calls about the gunshots, policed arrived to find Holman in the passenger seat of a van. He had been shot several times and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators placed numbered placards next to several dozen shell casings in the street. At least 45 casings were marked around the van and several feet away. Police said they were investigating the possibility of multiple shooters due to several different types of casings being located in the street. It’s unclear if Holman fired any weapons.
One home was hit by a bullet after a woman reported a broken window. She was not hurt. A vehicle next to the van that was hit with multiple bullets was also damaged.
Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday police served a high priority warrant on Maumee Avenue. Officers detained five people there, three were released and not charged. Two men were charged and arrested. Charles Antwon Benson faces a felony murder charge and a felony possession of a firearm charge. Marcus Jovan Lindsey faces a felony charge of assisting a criminal.