The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 2:30 pm

Council members express outrage over killings

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Speaking at the end of Tuesday's Fort Wayne City Council meeting, two members expressed outrage and grief over the deaths of two Black men in a Feb. 17 shooting that some community members and activists say was racially-motivated. 

Police say Anderson Retic and Joshua Cole Cooper, both 19, were killed when Joseph Bossard, 32, allegedly opened fire into the car they were in at a gas station near the intersection of East State Boulevard and Hobson Road. A third victim, Jaylin Rice was also wounded in the attack.

Bossard was formally charged Wednesday with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He's also charged with aggravated battery, criminal recklessness and a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime.

Police have not said whether investigators believe the incident was racially-motivated, but have indicated an argument occurred between Bossard and the victims shortly before the shooting. 

Dressed in black as a sign of mourning, Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, D-at large, described the violence as senseless.

"We lost two treasures here in our community. They were thriving young men and this was a senseless death," she said. "My condolences to their families who are working to bury their sons this week."

Councilman Glynn Hines, D-at large, also offered his condolences to the victims' families, decrying their deaths as murders perpetrated in cold blood. 

"The individual left the gas station, came back and shot all three of them," he said. "Hopefully the prosecutor's office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

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