New gang unit tackling recent violence

Crime scene markers cover shell casings after what police call a shootout between rival gangs.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Police Department announced the new Gang and Violent Crimes Unit Friday and the team has already been busy.  It arrested one gang member Friday for an alleged double shooting.  The group will also be investigating a shootout between rival gangs that left five people hurt Sunday morning.

Officials don’t think the gang violence is a response to the formation of the new gang unit, but the new team is very interested in the five people injured in the shootout.  Police Chief Garry Hamilton said the five men have now become the sole focus for the team.

On February 11th, shots were fired near off Tillman Road.  Those shots injured two men.

The new Gang and Violent Crimes Unit arrested Trameil Jackson for the crime Friday.  But early Sunday morning, another gang shooting caught the new unit’s attention.  A gun battle between two vehicles at Lafayette and Tillman left five people injured.  Investigators say it started around 4:30 a.m. as a bar fight between rival gangs.

“We had been watching these gentlemen…we’ll focus on those individuals,” Chief Hamilton said.  “We got some credible information that leads us to believe that we need to work on this particular bar they were attending.  So we’ll focus on this area as well.”

The recent gang activity comes at a time when 22 new recruits are beginning the Fort Wayne Police Academy.  While they may be the future, Mayor Tom Henry and Pierce have confidence in the new gang unit’s present battle for public safety.

“Our gang unit will identify these individuals for sure and we’ll move toward arrests and prosecution,” Henry said.

Fort Wayne’s new gang unit doesn’t work alone.  It’s assisted by county, state, and federal law enforcement.

The city hasn’t seen five people hurt in one shooting incident since 2009.

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