Fort Wayne Police stress need for witness reports

(Photo Supplied/Jeff Bowman)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): It’s a story that’s all too familiar: a shooting in Fort Wayne, with few witnesses, if any, willing to come forward.

Fort Wayne Police spokesman Michael Joyner tells WOWO news it’s a frustrating trend:

“We have a lot of resources, but we cannot solve crimes in 48 hours unless the community is part of that process,” Joyner says.

There have been 21 homicides so far in Fort Wayne and Allen County this year. The vast majority of them are currently unsolved.

Some of the hesitation to step forward could be because of the fear of retaliation: one witness to a shooting last night on Philley Avenue told our Partners in News at 21Alive “if you talk to the news, you’ll be the next to die.”

Joyner says retaliatory crimes against witnesses are extremely rare, but adds there are ways to speak up if you’re concerned for your safety:

“You can go to FWPD.org, where you can report crimes totally anonymously. Go to a minister or a friend, and have them come to us with the information. We’ll accept it.”

He adds that if people who’ve seen something illegal don’t step forward, those committing crimes like murder will most likely remain free.

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