Fort Wayne sees record-breaking year for homicides

("Police Line/Police Tape" by Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A sad record for Fort Wayne and Allen County.

22-year-old Sha Rif of Fort Wayne’s shooting death was a homicide, according to the Allen County Coroner’s Office. He was found early Wednesday morning at a gas station located at South Lafayette near South Clinton.

His death is the 46th homicide of the year for Fort Wayne and Allen County, and that’s a new record, passing the yearly high set in 2013.

Only 14 of those cases have seen an arrest. Three of the homicides were police-action shootings. There have been two triple-murders and one quadruple-murder in Fort Wayne this year.

Fort Wayne Police spokesman Michael Joyner tells WOWO News that police are doing all they can, but it’s up to those with knowledge of area crimes to also step up:

“There’s an opportunity for everyone to step up and be part of the solution,” Joyner says. “Let’s eliminate the craziness and never again relive 2016.”

City Spokesman John Perlich tells WOWO News they’re not taking the news lightly:

“One homicide is one too many for our community. Any time we see violence in Fort Wayne it’s difficult to take, and we’re doing all we can to come together in the community,” Perlich says. He adds that Fort Wayne is still a safe city, compared to cities of similar or larger size, and Joyner agrees with that assertion:

“Fort Wayne is the greatest and safest city of its size, and I’ll take anybody to task on that,” Joyner says. “It is not, however, if you’re involved in drugs or gangs,” he adds, saying the vast majority of the homicide victims have been involved in illegal activity.

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