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Fort Wayne, state briefs

Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 9:02 am

Fire put out

The Fort Wayne Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire at an industrial building.

FWFD crews responded at 7:27 p.m. Friday to a reported building fire at Geiger Excavating in the 2800 block of West Coliseum Boulevard, according to a news release. Firefighters arrived one minute later and found heavy smoke coming from a stand-alone garage. Crews located a fire in a paint booth for the business that was operating on the property. The fire was brought under control in 17 minutes and damage was minimal to the structure and contents, according to the release. No injuries were reported.

Robbery allegedly spiraled into slayings

INDIANAPOLIS – Authorities say a man trying to carry out a drug robbery fatally shot three people inside an Indianapolis house before calling in a woman who killed a fourth person after he ran out of bullets.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced murder charges Friday against four people he said were involved in planning and carrying out the Feb. 20 robbery on the city's south side.

Court documents say 24-year-old Kenneth “Cody” Rackemann was searching for a safe inside the house when he started shooting those inside. Authorities say one woman who was shot was alive until 21-year-old Valencia Williams, who had accompanied Rackemann to the house and was sitting in a car outside, came inside and shot her twice in the head.

Williams killed Hayley Navarra, 21, as the wounded woman begged for her life, according to the affidavit.

"Hayley kept saying she wasn't going to say anything about the shooting, essentially begging for her life," a witness told investigators, according to the affidavit.

Rackemann, Williams and 20-year-old Samantha Bradley grabbed cellphones, purses and the shotgun before fleeing the home, according to documents.

A fourth person charged in the killings, Anthony LaRussa, 26, was not present in the home during the shootings, but helped set up the robbery, according to court records.

The house was allegedly owned by a drug dealer and authorities say Rackemann worked security at the home, the court documents allege.

Weather Service confirms 3rd tornado hit Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – The National Weather Service has confirmed that a third tornado struck Indiana last week as a wave of severe weather swept across the state.

The weather service said Friday a survey team determined that a tornado ranking as an EF0 on the Fujita scale with estimated 80 mph winds hit the southeast side of the central Indiana city of Crawfordsville on Feb. 20 before dissipating near Darlington.

That storm damaged outbuildings, stripped shingles from homes and damaged part of a truck stop's canopy.

The weather service had previously confirmed that two tornadoes packing winds of between 85 and 90 mph hit the state Feb. 20. One touched down near Osgood in southeastern Indiana's Ripley County and the other struck in central Indiana's Rush County near the town of Arlington.

–News-Sentinel staff, wire reports