FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – He didn’t do it for an award. He did it because it was right.
Since the record-setting violence in Fort Wayne last year, the community has heard a resounding message from police: If you see something, say something. That’s exactly what Oster Jackson did when he witnessed a brutal murder in front of his Hugh Street home in April of 2013. Police say his act of “saying something” helped catch and convict a killer.
For the folks living around Hugh Street, Jackson is the neighbor trying to keep kids on the straight and narrow.
“I always try to talk with some of these young kids around here when I see them going the wrong way,” Jackson said. “That’s the only thing I could do is talk.”
But to the Fort Wayne Police Department, he’s much more. Among others, authorities honored Jackson with a citizen service award Wednesday night.
It began when Jackson heard shots fired outside his Hugh Street garage. When looking out the garage window, he saw Deadrian Boykins, 18, gun down Elijah Freeman, 17. Jackson knew Boykins and called 9-1-1 immediately.
“He came running right outside of the house, and that’s when I caught his face, right there,” Jackson said while pointing out his garage window.
The act of courage came as second nature to Jackson, thanks to a lasting lesson from his mother when he was being bullied at an early age.
“My mother taught us to have no fear,” Jackson said. “You can’t worry about going out there and fear getting your butt kicked or what they say about you…stand up for what’s right.”
Because of that lesson, the Fort Wayne community is now safer. Still Oster’s message to the community is that it doesn’t end with him.
“Have some courage,” Oyster said. “Stand up, speak up, and get these people off the street. They’re going to hurt you next.”
Boykins had 20 years added to his 65-year murder sentence for attacking an Allen County guard with a metal food tray in December. Police say Boykins is a known gang member.