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Fort Wayne man dies from injuries from 1980 shooting; death ruled homicide

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 8:09 am

A 53-year-old Fort Wayne man who was wounded in a 1980 shooting has died of complications from his injuries, making him Allen County's seventh homicide this year.

David Allan Thornsley died Monday at a local hospital, the Allen County Coroner's Office said Wednesday in a statement. Thornsley was shot July 10, 1980, as he rode his bicycle on Rudisill Boulevard near Smith Street, the coroner's office said.

Thornsley was left partially paralyzed because of his injuries and died of complications from paraplegia, the coroner's office said.

An archived story from The News-Sentinel stated that Thornsley told police that he had been riding his bicycle around 2 a.m., heading home from a nearby service station, after buying a bottle of soda.

Witnesses told police at the time that several shots were fired before they heard Thornsley cry out for help. Witnesses said that a white van fled eastbound on Rudisill at a high rate of speed.

The archived story said that the shots were fired from a .22-caliber rifle, possibly a semiautomatic. Thornsley was struck twice. One of the bullets exited Thornsley's body through the lower right side of his chest; both bullets struck him in the lower back, near his spine, which resulted in his partial paralysis.