The report also notes a rise in Latin or Hispanic gangs. In the Fort Wayne Police Department’s annual report, the names of 25 gangs or cliques are listed as being active in the city. “We are seeing a rivalry for territory for the first time with an increase in Latin/Hispanic gangs,” the report said.
David Wilson Jr. drove a tan Nissan down Spatz Avenue one night this month, never expecting the sounds of gunfire that would soon erupt throughout the neighborhood.
Caught in the middle of what turned out to be a gunbattle – witnesses said more than 50 shots rang out that night – Wilson was hit at least once and died at the scene, becoming one of Allen County’s homicide victims.
Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York said this week that Wilson’s death was probably the result of gang violence, but unusual this time because the 50-year-old city man was not a part of any gang.
He wasn’t a target and neither was the 53-year-old man sitting in the passenger seat who escaped unscathed and the 30-year-old woman riding in the back seat who was also shot but survived.
They were innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. “That’s what it seems right now,” York said.
There have been 14 homicides in Allen County this year compared to eight at this time a year ago, most of them shootings. York attributes many of the shootings to gang activity.