The Allen County Sheriff's Department is searching for one of four suspects in a shooting and a vehicle chase Tuesday morning through southeast Fort Wayne, and seven Fort Wayne Community Schools were placed on lockdown as a result.
A 911 dispatcher was called at about 11:15 a.m. with a report of an armed robbery with a person being shot, according to police scanner traffic, although later it was determined at a hospital that the victim had a cut, possibly from being grazed by a bullet or pistol-whipped.
An Allen County sheriff's deputy spotted a car matching a description of one involved in the robbery and chased it from near Ivy Tech for a few miles through east Fort Wayne.
The suspect vehicle, a blue Impala, struck a pickup and a cement barrier and came to rest in a restaurant parking lot at McKinnie Avenue and Anthony Boulevard, said sheriff's department spokesman Jeremy Tinkel. The deputy was not injured.
Two men were trapped in the car, with one being taken to a local hospital, Tinkel said. Two others fled, and one of them was later captured.
The man driving the pickup also was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment.
According to police, four men had entered Shooters Guns store, 600 Lincoln Highway, in New Haven. A customer was cut on the head and the owner battered. At least one shot was fired inside the store, according to a police report from New Haven Police Officer Scott Adam. The four men then fled with several guns in a blue Impala.
Shortly after noon Tuesday, Tinkel was unsure if all of the guns were in police custody. One gun was found in a yard on Alliger Street, Adam said in his report.
Five schools in the area where the suspects' vehicle crashed were put on lockdown as a precaution, Tinkel said. Krista Stockman, a spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Community Schools, said two more schools were added as of 12:45 p.m., bringing the total to seven. Those schools: Abbett Elementary, Ward, Weisser Park, Whitney Young Early Development, Irwin, Scott Academy and Towles Intermediate.
Of those, Whitney Young has a midday release that would be impacted by a lockdown, with the afternoon session slated to begin at 12:45. Stockman said that parents would have three options: Either wait with their children and bring them when the lockdown ends, walk them into the building themselves, or keep them home for the afternoon.
As of 1:30 p.m., Stockman said in a news release that the schools "are no longer on full lockdown, but students are not to go outside for recess or any other activity. At dismissal we will have additional adults present to ensure safety."
If anyone has information about the fourth suspect, they should call 911 or Allen County dispatch at 449-3000.
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.