Lima Road Thanksgiving shooting suspect was sentenced in 2016 for neglect of an infant

Victor M. Rivera after Friday's arrest
Police released this photo of the suspect in a shooting death Thursday night at the Meijer on Lima Road.
Victor M. Rivera (2016)

Victor M. Rivera, 21, of Fort Wayne was arrested Friday and charged with murder, felony murder and robbery causing serious bodily injury stemming from a robbery and shooting Thursday night at the Meijer gas station on Lima Road.

Just over a year ago, Rivera was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for neglect of a dependent by placing him in a situation that endangers him, a Level 6 felony. The 2 1/2-year sentence is the maximum allowed under the law for a Level 6 felony.

Rivera, 19 at the time, was accused in October of 2015 of shaking and dropping the infant son of Jennifer L. Born. Fort Wayne Police responded to a domestic disturbance at 1:35 p.m. Oct. 18 of that year and found the boy suffering from a hematoma to the rear right side of his head. The infant was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with subdural hemorrhages. A skull fracture also was noted, as were hemorrhages in both eyes, which indicated abusive head trauma. X-rays revealed a fracture of the left femur with early healing and a fracture of the left humerus, which also was healing, a probable cause affidavit said.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull said Rivera was “the worst offender of the worst crime,” upon his sentencing on October 28, 2016. Rivera escaped the more serious charge – neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 3 felony. His Level 6 felony carried between a six month to 2 and a half year sentence.

On Friday, Rivera, now 21, was taken into custody when investigators noticed him walking in a trailer park off Washington Center Road after receiving tips from the public.


UPDATED: Police arrest suspect in Thanksgiving shooting at Lima Road gas station

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September 30, 2016: Jury splits in infant neglect case

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February 4, 2016: 2 accused of neglecting infant who suffered brain injuries