FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man is dead after he was shot by an officer with the Fort Wayne Police Department early Wednesday morning. Police have confirmed that the man was a suspect in an armed robbery that happened a short time earlier.
Around 2:30 a.m., police were called to the CVS in the 2800 block of E. State Blvd. Police said a man went into the store with a rifle and demanded cash.
It’s unknown at this time if he got away with any money. The suspect left the store and headed south.
Officers arriving at the scene saw someone matching the description of the suspect and chased him to Baldwin Creek Apartments on Hobson Rd. According to Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York, he was armed with an “assault type of rifle.”
Two officers followed the suspect into an empty apartment building that had been under renovation. The stairway was blocked. York said one of the officers fired as the suspect turned, swinging the rifle he carried in their direction.
“Officers are trained to [shoot] when a firearm is beginning to point in their direction. They have to protect themselves,” said York.”This officer, I feel acted very appropriately and probably saved not only his life but possibly the other officers there too.”
The suspect was declared dead on the scene.
The Allen County coroner identified the suspect as Stephen O’Neal Wattley II, 21, of Fort Wayne.
The names of the officers involved have not yet been released.
The police department announced that, in accordance with policy, the two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
“In modern policing, we recognize how significant that [emotional] impact can be and we make sure the officers [are] afforded not only time off so they can prepare themselves to return to the workplace but we also afford them access to a psychologist,” York said.
No one else was hurt during the shooting or the initial armed robbery.