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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette David Miller, whose grandson was killed by gun violence, speaks at an anti-gun violence rally he organized Saturday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette David Miller makes a speech on gun violence during the Anti Gun Violence Rally at the Allen County Courthouse on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Leeroy Allison talks with Amy Miller Davis during the anti-gun rally at the Allen County Courthouse on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.

Sunday, September 08, 2019 1:00 am

Rally speakers seek justice for loved ones killed by guns

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

David Miller is still seeking justice for his grandson Spencer Smith, 20, who was shot to death two years ago at East Central Towers on East Washington Boulevard. 

Leroy Allison is seeking the same justice for his daughter Alonna Allison, 17, cut down by a stray bullet four years ago as she attended a back-to-school bonfire on Schaper Drive. 

The two men each attended a small anti-gun violence rally organized by Miller at the Allen County Courthouse on Saturday. 

Capt. Mitchell McKinney, director of community relations for the Fort Wayne Police Department, and Sgt. Thomas Strausborger and Detective Geoffrey Norton, both with the department's Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, responded to Miller's invitation to appear but did not speak.  

The Gang Unit has confiscated 113 illegal guns, ahead of last year's 84 at this time, Strausborger said. Combined with 118 guns confiscated by the Narcotics Unit so far, a total of 231 guns are off the street that could be used in street crimes, he said. 

Allen County has had 17 homicides this year, compared with 33 last year at this time. The number of non-fatal shootings from January through August is 66. Last year, there were 105 non-fatal shootings for an average of about nine each month. 

By comparison, in 2014, there were 93 non-fatal shootings in 2014 and 16 homicides. 

Miller said he believes gun violence could be reduced if there were more school programs for young people and families. 

“We have the best (police) force,” Miller said. “It don't get any better.”  

John Henry Jr., a Democratic candidate for City Council, spoke and suggested the mayor and City Council visit every gun shop in the county and talk about gun-related issues with the owners instead of appealing to the governor and legislators for things like background checks.

jduffy@jg.net