Fort Wayne scene of two fatal police action shootings in a week

| May 16, 2013

Courtesy of Raquel Foster, Public Information Officer, City of Fort Wayne Police Department

FORT WAYNE—On April 27, 2013 at approximately 1549 hours officers of the Fort Wayne Police Department attempted to stop a red SUV in a routine traffic stop at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Gaywood Drive. The two occupants of the suspect vehicle fled the traffic stop on foot. Police officers gave chase. The driver of the vehicle was able to evade police on foot and remains at large at this time. The passenger of the vehicle fled the scene and led officers on a short foot pursuit through the neighborhood. During the pursuit the suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Tavontae Jamar Haney, confronted police and was fatally shot. There was a firearm located in close proximity to the suspect’s body where he fell.

Crime scene technicians processed the scene. Possible witnesses are being sought for further information. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave per department policy during the investigation. The homicide and shooting teams also made the scene. This incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Indiana State Police, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

Just days later at 8:22 a.m., May 2, the City of Fort Wayne Police Department responded to a home in the 7700 block of Weymouth Court reference a disturbance that resulted in a police action shooting. An adult male, later identified as 22-year-old Ryan J. Koontz, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Initial information received indicated that a resident at this home was under the influence of a mind- or mood-altering drugs and that he was behaving irrationally, and that he had access to a firearm. As the first responding officers attempted to make contact, Koontz reportedly fired shots inside the home and at the officers as they retreated for their safety. Koontz then gained access to a vehicle and pursued one of the officers into the front drive of a neighboring home. He then exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with that officer and the other officers on the scene. The suspect was fatally wounded. There were no physical injuries to the responding officers, and there were no injuries reported to any bystanders or residents in the neighborhood.

Because Koontz was firing indiscriminately, in multiple directions, neighboring homes were struck by gunfire; those homes became part of the investigation and also were processed by crime scene technicians. There were direct eyewitnesses to this incident who were transported to the police headquarters to be interviewed. There were four officers involved and they will be placed on administrative leave in accordance with departmental policy.

This incident remains under investigation with the City of Fort Wayne Police Department, the Indiana State Police, the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office.


This article originally appeared in our May 15, 2013 issue.

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Category: Local

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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