Friend had ‘no doubt’ 2016 shooting death was a homicide

Photo of Jessica Bruch

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Allen County Coroner’s Office has ruled the 2016 shooting death of a Fort Wayne woman a homicide.

Jessica Elizabeth Bruch, 23, was rushed to a hospital on the evening of November 12, after being shot. According to a police spokesperson, Bruch was pronounced dead a short time later. Bruch had been taken to the hospital from a home at 719 Walnut Street where the shooting may have taken place.

Sucqusa Neal said she knew all along Bruch’s death was a homicide.

“She would never hurt herself in that type of way,” she said. “She would never do that. She is not that type of person.”

Neal and Bruch went from co-workers to friends, friends to best friends, then roommates.

“I didn’t know what a best friend was until I had Jessica,” she said. “She might not even be at home, she might have been at work, but would come home and kill a spider for me. That’s what kind of best friend Jessica was.”

Neal said they were there for each other and confided in one another. She thought she knew everything about Bruch, but she was wrong.

“It breaks my heart this had to happen,” she said. “I didn’t know she was that deep in trouble.”

It’s still unclear what transpired that night but Neal said Bruch was dealing with some relationship problems.

“She just had problems with the guy she was dating… his baby’s mother,” said Neal.

Neal said that woman was harassing Bruch. She said Bruch even filed a restraining order against her.

“When I first found out [about the shooting] that’s the first thing that came in my head,” she said. “I didn’t think of anything else because I didn’t know of anything else. I still don’t know of anything else.”

Police have no suspects and no arrests have been made. Bruch’s death remains under investigation by authorities.

“What we’ve wanted all along is justice,” said Neal. “I’ve been praying for this for quite some time… that her murder does not go unsolved.”

An initial autopsy determined Bruch died of a gunshot wound, but the manner of death could not be determined at the time.

Bruch’s death raises 2016’s homicide total to 49.