Woman defends south-side neighborhood after more crime

FORT WAYNE, (WANE) – After a double shooting early Monday left a man dead and a woman hurt outside a south side Fort Wayne bar, one neighbor is defending the side of town she grew up on and the bar where it happened. Sandra Thomas said Foster’s Pub isn’t a bad place and the the area of town didn’t always have a lot of crime. “This place used to remind me of a place very much like the Cheer’s television show.”

She thinks other bars and businesses closing brought ‘bad apples’ to the area. “When things changed in other parts of the city and bars closed down, those apples come finding other places to go.”

This situation is far from the first call involving the pub. Michael Joyner with the Fort Wayne Police Department said it’s not uncommon to get calls related to Foster’s. “We’ve been called to the business on several occasions that I can think of for a number of reasons.”

Incident reports over the last five years are nearing 300 calls, ranging from fights to stabbings and shootings.

  • 2013 shows 39 calls related to Foster’s
  • 2014 had the most calls with 69
  • 2016 had 54 calls
  • 2015 had 47
  • There have been 48 calls this year (as of October 8th and not including Monday’s call.)

Thomas said Monday’s shooting added to a worsening reputation. “I just hate that this neighborhood gets a bad rap all the time because of a few sets of people who choose to bring garbage to a place that was intended to be a place to socialize and quote on quote fellowship.”

Police are still looking into what lead up to the shooting and who did it. Marked as the 27th homicide of the year, it adds to a busy weekend with three separate shooting situations. Joyner said it’s still less than the record breaking homicide year of 2016. “You say one is one too many and well that’s true, we would like to be at zero, but when you compare this year with last year we are certainly not nearing those numbers.”

Joyner said there is no reason to believe the situations over the weekend are related or related to Monday’s shooting.

There was a vehicle across the street at the Marathon gas station with damage. Joyner said he heard reports about that but said that’s not where the shooting happened. “As we all know, rounds unless stopped by something. they can travel down range. Now, whether that was the reason for the vehicle being damaged is a possibility but I don’t know of any tie between that vehicle and the suspects or the location of the shooting.”

The owner of the business talked to NewsChannel 15 on the phone but wouldn’t interview on camera. He claimed the shooting happened at the Marathon and not in his parking lot. He said it is a ‘tragic situation’ that someone lost their life.