Police shooting in Fort Wayne leaves suspect in critical condition

(WANE-TV Photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – At least one Fort Wayne police officer shot a dollar store robbery suspect Sunday night.

Officers were called to Dollar General, 3121 East State Boulevard, around 8:15 p.m. for a reported armed robbery.

According to FWPD Spokesman Officer Michael Joyner, the suspects tied up an employee and customer inside the store before they eventually left. The two victims were not hurt.

As the suspects left the store they encountered police in the parking lot.

It’s unclear if the suspects were armed as they left the store or if they fired any weapons towards officers. One suspect was shot and taken to a hospital in critical condition. A second suspect ran south towards Baldwin Creek Apartments and shed clothes as he ran from officers. He was later apprehended and taken into custody.

Investigators said both men were wearing masks and gloves. Joyner said the suspects demanded cash and cigarettes from the employee and after receiving those items left the store.

Joyner said three officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy for officers involved in a shooting. Joyner could not confirm if all three officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired. Investigators have not released the identities of the officers involved in the incident.

Early Monday morning, police identified one of the suspects as Christopher D. Johnson, 31, Fort Wayne. Johnson has active warrants, including a parole violation. Additional charges are pending from Sunday’s robbery.

The officers placed on leave will likely be interviewed about the incident in three days. FWPD policy requires a “cooling off period” before officers are interviewed involving certain incidents.

Sunday’s dollar store robbery is the latest in a string of robberies in Fort Wayne this year. At least 14 stores have been robbed – several at gunpoint. It’s unclear if this robbery is connected or if these suspects are involved in any of the robberies.

This is the second officer-involved shooting by an FWPD officer in 2015. The first was in June on Saint Mary’s Avenue when an officer shot and killed a man who failed to comply with his orders after answering the door with a gun.

The two officer-involved shootings this year follows 2014 when the department had zero. That followed a string of four investigations in 2013 in which officers were involved in shootings.

Indiana State Police will run a concurrent investigation with the Fort Wayne Police Department on the latest shooting.

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