Fort Wayne Police Chief explains why only 3 of 22 homicides were solved last year

22 unsolved homicides in Fort Wayne in 2012

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Last year, there were nearly two dozen homicides in the city of Fort Wayne, according to the police chief.  Only three of them were solved.

Fort Wayne Police Chief, Rusty York, said in 2012 they say 22 homicides.  Although more than 80 percent of the homicides from last year are still open, York said more than half of the cases have suspects.

“Many of times, unfortunately, our detectives have a pretty good idea of who committed the homicide, but they need all of the evidence, the witnesses to be able to put together a case.”

One of the biggest obstacles homicide detectives face is getting witnesses to talk.  Without their cooperation, Chief York said it’s difficult to build a case.  Most of the violence we saw this past year stemmed from drugs and gang retaliation.

“A lot of our victims are people who have chosen to get into that type of lifestyle.  Whether it be gangs or drugs or both.”

Several people who were killed or found guilty of murder were gang members.

“Sometimes they’re victims.  Sometimes they’re apprehended and are serving time in prison.  So, things fall off they get back out.  Or new people join.”

York said he’d like to see fewer homicides in Fort Wayne.

“We really are focusing a lot of our resources on gang activity, illegal gun ownership.  And so we are working hard to try to eliminate that and hopefully have an impact on our homicides.”

There will be a press conference Saturday at noon at the City County Building where leaders will talk more about eliminating violence.

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