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Police and fire

Hostage standoff

Police Chief Rusty York discusses Wednesday's fatal shooting and stand-off.

Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Hostage situation jn the 3000 block of Holton Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

Child rescued, hostage-taker dead

Courtesy Allen County Sheriff's Department
Kenneth Knight

FORT WAYNE – A hostage-taker is dead and a 3-year-old was rescued Wednesday afternoon after a day-long saga in Fort Wayne.

Police Chief Rusty York said that Kenneth Knight, 45, was killed by a single shot from a sniper at a house in the 3000 block of Holton Avenue.

A protective order had been filed against Knight in the past few days, according to Raquel Foster, a police spokeswoman. Who took out the order has not been made public.

A woman riding on a Citilink bus was pulled off the bus by a fellow passenger at Pettit Avenue and Reed Street on Wednesday morning and shot to death with a shotgun on a sidewalk about 25 feet from the door of the bus, police said.

The area along Pettit where the shooting took place at the time was busy with children waiting at school bus stops and school buses and other traffic traveling up and down the street.

The gunman fled, cutting between houses in the neighborhood. Eventually, police located the suspect mid-day at the Holton Avenue house.

Police spokeswoman Raquel Foster confirmed shortly after 4:30 p.m. that police had carried a 3-year-old boy out of the house in the 3000 block of Holton Avenue.

Police said they do not believe the morning's killing was random.

The Allen County Coroner's Office identified the woman shot to death morning as Jacqueline Bouvier Hardy, 49, of Fort Wayne.

Police said they got several calls about a man with a gun and multiple shots fired at 7:53 a.m.

There were several passengers on the Citilink bus, which listed its destination as Canterbury via IPFW. Police did not say exactly how many were on the bus, whether they actually witnessed the shooting or whether they remained on the bus.

"We have a good idea who we're looking for," Foster said, hours before the hostage situation began.

The body Hardy, covered by a sheet, had a backpack at her feet. Small yellow markers identifying the location of spent shells were within inches.

A man who arrived a little more than an hour after the shooting who identified himself as the victim's brother said the victim had been on her way to school.

Citilink General Manager Kenneth Housden said Wednesday morning that the agency feels for the family of the victim.

"We have video and audio on all the buses," Housden said. "Of course, the police department will be reviewing that and it will be pretty definitive."

Housden said the incident, though tragic, was an isolated one and people should continue to feel safe on Citilink buses.

"We do take safety and security very seriously and respond very quickly to any incident," he said.

Rebecca S. Green and Dan Stockman contributed to this story.

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Date/Time of Incident: March 20, 2013 at 7:53 a.m.

Location of Incident: E. Pettit Ave. & Reed St.

Victim: JACQUELINE BOUVIER HARDY, Age 49, Of Fort Wayne

Suspect: KENNETH KNIGHT, age 45, Fort Wayne; deceased.

Fort Wayne, Ind - At the scene of the homicide this morning detectives obtained information as to the identity of the murder suspect, Kenneth Knight. Detectives learned that Knight was the former boyfriend of Hardy, and that Hardy had recently obtained a protective order that listed Knight as the restrained party. Detectives then identified two possible locations for where Knight could be. The first location was a home in the 4100 block of Richfield Lane (Knight's last known address) and the second location was a home in the 3000 block of Holton Avenue.

At approximately 10:00 am, the Emergency Services Team and Crisis Response Team responded to the home on Richfield Lane but did not locate the suspect there. At approximately 12:00 noon, at the Holton Avenue location, the residents of that home fled to safety when police arrived; the murder suspect however remained inside the home with a three-year old toddler. The Emergency Services Team and Crisis Response Team also responded to this location. Hostage negotiators made contact intermittently with the murder suspect who refused to surrender and who refused to release the toddler to safety. There is no known relationship between the toddler/hostage and Knight, and it is not clear what the exact relationship is between the resident(s) of the Holton Avenue home and Knight.

At approximately 4:30 pm, two members (sharpshooters) of the Emergency Services Team each fired a single shot simultaneously upon the murder suspect thereby fatally wounding him, and the three-year old hostage was rescued and was found to be unharmed. This ended a day-long search for the murder suspect.

The incident remains under investigation with the City of Fort Wayne Police, the Indiana State Police, the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and the Allen County Coroner's office. It is the department's standard procedure when a police action shooting results in the death of any individual for the Indiana State Police to be called upon to conduct an independent parallel investigation to provide an objective view. Also, in accordance with departmental policy, the two EST members will be placed on administrative leave.

There is nothing further at this time.

Raquel Foster

City of Fort Wayne Police Department