The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 21, 2020 1:00 am

Latest shooting of juvenile fatal

Boy, 15, ruled 5th homicide of 2020

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A 15-year-old boy, shot to death in an alley and the third juvenile to be shot this year, is Allen County's fifth homicide victim.

Eric Ray McDonnell Jr. died from a gunshot wound Wednesday night, the Allen County coroner said Thursday.

The two other juvenile victims – an 8-year-old shot while he was asleep on Logan Avenue and a 13-year-old shot when he opened the door on Euclid Avenue – were wounded in January and both survived with injuries.

Police said they didn't believe McDonnell's shooting death was related to the other shootings in which bullets were shot inside homes, or to the Jan. 20 shooting on Senate Avenue that killed Than Khan Khai, 49, as he sat in his home with friends.

McDonnell was found with a gunshot wound about 7:10 p.m. Wednesday in an alley near Euclid Avenue, McKee Street and Central Drive. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead about 9:15 p.m., the coroner's office said.

Witnesses said McDonnell had just left a home in the 2800 block of Euclid Avenue and was on his way to a nearby gas station when he was shot and found lying in the alley. Medics rushed him to a hospital where emergency surgery was performed.

Three women who are friends of McDonnell's mother have come forward to say there is a GoFundMe to help pay funeral expenses for McDonnell and asking people for food and prepared meals for McDonnell's three younger siblings. His mother has taken time off from work because of the death of her son, they said. The GoFundMe is titled Eric McDonnell followed by a red heart.

Interested donors should contact Tabatha Weileman, Jami Weileman or Katelyn Gustin through Facebook. McDonnell had been enrolled at Smith Academy for Excellence, Jami Weileman said.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Fort Wayne Police at 427-1201 or Crime Stoppers at 260-436-7867.

Sign up for our crime and courts newsletter

Sent daily when events warrant