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Police and fire

Chad Ryan photos | The Journal Gazette
A Fort Wayne police officer takes photographs Sunday at1230 W. Wildwood Ave. after a fatal shooting that happened shortly after noon.

Gunshot victim dies in alleyway

City’s 2nd fatal shooting in 24 hours

A Fort Wayne police chaplain stands in the street Sunday near a taped-off property.

Two hours after the shooting death of a man on the city’s southwest side Sunday, neighbors on West Wildwood Avenue were beginning to make their way back onto the sidewalk, curious about what provoked the midday violence.

Several neighbors stood behind locked doors, watching as police searched the area for shell casings. Others walked cautiously by a home at 1230 W. Wildwood Ave., pointing to the crime scene tape and talking about the young man who lived in the home.

The shooting on Wildwood came less than 24 hours after a fatal shooting Saturday night on East Lewis Street.

Police were dispatched to the Wildwood shooting at about 12:10 p.m., according to a Fort Wayne Police Department statement.

Officers and paramedics found a man lying in an alley between two homes, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

A short time later, the man was declared dead at the scene. His name was not released Sunday.

Neighbors said they knew of a young man who lived in the home, but no one knew his name or how long he had lived there.

One woman, who declined to be identified out of fear she might be targeted, said she often saw vehicles driving by the home, stopping for a minute or two, before speeding off again.

“It’s getting to be a scary place around here,” she said, adding that this wasn’t the first time violence had rocked the neighborhood in recent years.

About four years ago, a man had been shot dead while walking his dog, she explained. That same year, a man showed up at a hospital with a stab wound, telling nurses he had been stabbed during an attempted robbery.

The woman said that while she was letting her dog out before Sunday’s shooting, she saw a white car with expired paper license plates driving around the block multiple times. Then there was a loud noise and everyone outside took off running, she said.

Thirty seconds later, the street was deserted, she said.

According to the release, officers received information that a white vehicle was seen leaving the area at a high speed immediately following the gunshots.

There was no suspect Sunday, police said.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office will release the victim’s name and manner of death.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 436-7867 or the Fort Wayne Police Department Detective Bureau at 427-1201.

The latest fatality was the culmination of a week of shootings.

Police were called to the 800 block of East Lewis Street just before 6 p.m. Saturday, where they found a man in the street suffering from gunshot wounds. He later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

On Tuesday gunfire killed a man and badly hurt another in the 3100 block of Smith Street, near Weisser Park.

Authorities have confirmed that 36 deaths, not including the most recent two, have been homicides this year in Fort Wayne and Allen County. That figure is a 15-year high.

The all-time peak was 43 homicides in 1997, according to the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

To see a map and list of Allen County homicides this year, click here.