Gunman ID’d in fatal police shooting

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The man who was shot and killed by police Thursday morning after he opened fire on officers in a north side Fort Wayne neighborhood has been identified.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Ryan Koontz, 22, of Fort Wayne.

Koontz’s death was ruled a homicide. This is the 17th homicide in Fort Wayne and Allen County in 2013.

According to police, four FWPD officers were called to a home in the 7700-block of Weymouth Court in the Wheatridge housing addition, off of Cook and Coldwater Roads, around 8:20 a.m.

Initially, police on the scene told NewsChannel 15 that the gunman was contemplating suicide; however, in a press release issued at 11:15 a.m., police indicated that the subject may have been under the influence of mind-altering drugs and was behaving “irrationally.” Police also knew that the man had access to a firearm.

FWPD spokesperson Raquel Foster said that as the first responding officers attempted to make contact with the man, he fired shots inside of the home at the officers.

The officers retreated from the home and the subject left the house while continuing to shoot, according to police.

Police said the subject then got into a car and tried to run over at least one officer in the home’s driveway.

The subject pulled the car into a driveway a couple of houses down on Weymouth Court and got out of the vehicle while continuing to shoot at police.

Police said officers then shot and killed the subject.

The suspect shot in multiple directions so nearby homes were riddled with bullets. Police said those homes are now part of the investigation.

Eyewitnesses to the incident were taken to the FWPD headquarters where they were interviewed.

FWPD Police Chief Rusty York said police have had incidents with this subject before.

Both neighbors and Chief York told NewsChannel 15 that the victim is 22 years old.

Chief York said the incident is over and everyone in the neighborhood is safe. There were no reported injuries to the officers or bystanders in the neighborhood.

The four officers involved in the fatal shooting will be placed on administrative leave in accordance with departmental policy, according to Foster.

This shooting marks the fourth time in 2013 that Fort Wayne police have used deadly force.

Less than a week ago, two FWPD officers were involved in a fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man on Spatz Avenue .

On March 20, police shot and killed 45-year-old Kenneth Knight  after a more than four hour hostage situation in the 3000-block of Holton Street. A three-year-old that was being held hostage was found safe.

On February 20, a FWPD officer shot and killed a man  when the suspect turned a semi-automatic gun on the officer at Baldwin Creek Apartments on Hobson Road.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry released the following statement Thursday morning:

I want to take this opportunity to thank Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York and the Fort Wayne Police Department for their commitment and dedication to ensuring that our City is as safe as possible.
Earlier today and last weekend, there were police-action shootings in our City. Our law enforcement officials are doing everything they can to combat challenges that are difficult to address.
I recognize we face challenges with guns, gangs, drugs, and mental illness in our community. By working together, my administration, the police department, our neighborhoods, and citizens can overcome these obstacles.
I want to reassure the citizens of Fort Wayne that public safety is a top priority of my administration.
We live, work, and play in a safe City. I want citizens and visitors alike to enjoy what our City has to offer. We have great businesses, neighborhoods, schools, parks, and a quality of life that is second to none. Now more than ever, we need to be united as a City. I believe in Fort Wayne, and by coming together, we’re going to be an even stronger City. 

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