The coroner's office confirmed that Wattley died of gunshot wounds, and his death has been ruled Allen County's fifth homicide of 2012, which means that his death was caused by the actions of another person.
At around 2:27 a.m., police were dispatched to the CVS pharmacy at 2802 E. State Blvd. in reference to an armed robbery investigation, according to FWPD spokesman John Chambers. Arriving officers saw an individual matching the description of the suspect who was running southbound from the business, he said. Officers pursued the suspect as he ran into an apartment building in the 1900 block of Hobson Road.
Police Chief Rusty York said Wednesday morning that the two officers chased the suspect into the apartment building's lobby. The suspect turned, and officers saw that he was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. One of the officers shot him. “I don't believe any shots were fired at the officers,” York said.
York said investigators have verified that the rifle is real, not a lookalike-but-less- dangerous weapon. It has a pistol grip, so it was shorter than many similar rifles, he said.
The name of the officer who shot and killed the suspect will be released Thursday, York said. York said this officer is a 31-year veteran who has been in no significant disciplinary trouble in the past.
Both officers who pursued the suspect into the apartment building have been placed on a five-day administrative leave, as is typical in shootings by police. Indiana State Police will be conducting a parallel investigation to the Fort Wayne Police investigation, the chief said. That also is typical in cases of shootings by police.
Police said they have reviewed video surveillance records from the CVS store and verified that the robber and the dead man are the same person.
This incident remains under investigation by the FWPD, Allen County Prosecutor's Office, and the coroner's office.
More InformationOther police-action shootings
April 9, 2012: The Allen County Prosecutor's Office announced July 2 that the police-action shooting by Officer Derrick Demorest on April 9 was justified. Demorest, a nine-year veteran, shot and killed Marcus A. Hayden. Demorest was guarding the perimeter of a building in the 1300 block of Greene Street just after 11 p.m. April 9. Hayden, 26, was the subject of a federal bench warrant that was being served by deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service and officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department. Hayden, according to the police, exited from a rear window of an apartment building after firing shots at officers. One of the shots struck a marshal in the leg, according to information released earlier.
Nov. 26, 2011: Police had gone to Broadway Joe's Tavern in the 2500 block of Broadway at around 1:18 a.m. to investigate a report of shots fired, according to the department, and Antron L. Pearson, 31, was shot and killed. Officers reported finding a gun near Pearson's body.
July 29, 2011: A man who police said refused to put down a handgun he was holding was shot by officers in the 4900 block of Rothman Road. Michael A. French, 30, was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition after the shooting.
The incident began at around 11:56 p.m., when officers were dispatched to a home in the 5000 block of Ann Hackley Road to investigate a report of a suicidal person who was armed with a gun and firing shots into the air. Officers found French standing on Rothman, noting that he was still armed with the handgun. He refused to drop the weapon, according to a police report, and two officers fired their weapons, striking him.
Dec. 20, 2010: Yahree Cavin, 23, was shot and killed by police at 2020 S. Harrison St. Police had been summoned by two men who were working in an apartment building who said they were confronted by a man who had what appeared to be a firearm. Police reported that when they arrived, Cavin pointed the item at officers. Police later found the item Cavin was holding to be an Airsoft gun, which resembles a real firearm but shoots plastic pellets.
May 6, 2009: Carleon M. Ragsdale, then 22 years old, was shot near the intersection of Clinton and Superior streets after he allegedly pointed a pistol at an officer who was pursuing him. Police were called to the Citilink bus transfer station at the intersection of Clinton and Superior streets for a report of a man armed with a gun. An officer approached Ragsdale, who allegedly ran from the transfer station. During the course of the pursuit, which wound around buildings on Superior, Ragsdale allegedly pointed a weapon back at officers as he ran past the Charles "Bud" Meeks Justice Center, 101 E. Superior St. Ragsdale was shot and taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition, and survived.
Jan. 14, 2009: Anthony W. Taylor, 37, of Bluffton, was shot near the intersection of Coliseum Boulevard and Clinton Street after repeatedly being told to drop a weapon that officers thought to be a pistol. He later died at Parkview Hospital. Taylor was suspected of robbing People's State Bank in Avilla before making his way to Fort Wayne in a vehicle that was allegedly carjacked.
Taylor was shot in the parking lot of a cell phone store after getting out of a cab, carrying a satchel and what turned out to be a pistol that shot BBs and turning and leveling it toward officers who were ordering him to drop it.