3-year-old safe after police kill hostage-taker, murder suspect

Members of the Fort Wayne Police Department's SWAT team outside the Holton Avenue home after the 3-year-old hostage was freed.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  A fatal early morning shooting led to a more than four hour hostage situation that ended with the suspect’s death on Wednesday. A three-year-old that was being held hostage is safe.

A woman was shot to death in what police are calling a domestic dispute after getting off a Citilink bus just before 8 a.m. Wednesday morning near the intersection of East Pettit and Reed Street according to Fort Wayne police.

As police searched the area, they discovered the suspect, who they have identified as 45-year-old Kenneth Knight, was barricaded in a house in the 3000-block of Holton Street.

Fort Wayne Police, along with the Emergency Response Team and a SWAT team, were on the scene on Holton Street around noon. Police were led to the house on Holton Street by witness information.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, NewsChannel 15 crew on the scene reported hearing a loud bang and seeing the SWAT team approach the house and get the toddler.

Police said two sharpshooters of the Emergency Services Team had a clear shot of Knight and, based on previous discussions of the situation, they took it. Knight was shot and killed. Police were then able to get the toddler safely out of the home.

“We couldn’t get him to release his hostage, and obviously, we feared for the safety of the three year old child,” said Chief Rusty York of the Fort Wayne Police Department.

According to police, Knight did know the people who lived at the Holton Street home but was not related to them or the three-year-old he took hostage.

Police blocked off the entire 3000-block of Holton Street during the hostage situation.

According to a Facebook message, Fort Wayne Community Schools put up during the hostage situation, students living in the area were kept at school to be picked up by parents. Students in schools near the hostage area were allowed to leave with additional security measures in place.

Wednesday morning shooting

A woman was shot to death after getting off a Citilink bus just before 8 a.m. Wednesday morning  near the intersection of East Pettit and Reed Street according to Fort Wayne police.

According to a press release issued by Public Information Officer Raquel Foster, the victim has Knight’s former girlfriend. She had recently obtained a protective order against Knight.

Knight was recently released from jail, and today’s events violated his parole, according to Chief York.

it’s not clear what precipitated the incident however police confirmed that two knew each other but did not release the nature of the relationship.  Witnesses reported that the shooter pulled the victim off the bus.

Citilink buses have cameras that record both audio and video. Police said Citilink was being cooperative.

” Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. We really believe in passenger safety, and we spend a lot of money and a lot of effort to ensure that to the greatest extent that we can,” Kenneth Housden, the general manager of Citilink, said.

Housden said Indiana law allows people who have legal carry permits to carry weapons on busses and Citilink complies with the law. He added that despite Wednesday morning’s tragedy, the bus is safe to ride.

The woman was shot about 25 feet away from the bus. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was identified as Jacqueline Bouvier Hardy 49, of Fort Wayne.

The gunman took off on foot and was tracked by a canine unit to an area in the 4700 block of Winter Street where the search ended.

Police are interviewing several witnesses, including passengers who were on the bus and people who were in the neighborhood at the time of the shooting. Police also searched at least one house they believed to be connected to the morning shooting.

Ravenscroft Beauty College canceled classes for the day because of the shooting; a woman who answered the phone at the college said Hardy was a student there.

Fort Wayne Community Schools did take extra precautions as Scott and Abbett Elementary Schools were nearby. However, according to spokesperson Krista Stockman, some FWCS students on the way to school did see the shooting.

“That is very troubling for us,” Stockman said. “There has been a lot of violence in the city. I think that’s an aspect that, not that there’s necessarily a lot of thought that goes into these actions anyway when people are committing them, but that’s something that I don’t think a lot of people realize is that kids are witnessing these events and that it will have a profound impact on them.”

Man charged with murder in connection with Tuesday’s fatal shooting

Less than 24 hours earlier, Gerelle R. Borum, 22, of Fort Wayne was killed when he was shot while walking along Rudisill Boulevard near Indiana Avenue shortly after 1 pm Tuesday.  Witnesses told police the gunfire came from a red and white truck.  A short time later, officers located the truck and made a traffic stop.

Police detained Josiah C. Thomas, 22, of Fort Wayne for

questioning and later in the day he was charged with murder.

Police said this was not a gang related shooting.

Violent crimes in 2013

NewsChannel 15 has covered the following violent crimes that have occurred in the city in 2013 as of March 20:

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