2 shot dead in Ligonier; 3 in custody

Two people were shot to death at this Water Street apartment complex in Ligonier on Monday, March 5, 2018.

LIGONIER, Ind. (WANE) Police in Noble County are investigating after two people were found shot to death in Ligonier Monday night. Ligonier Police Chief Bryan Shearer said this is the first homicide investigation in three decades.

“I have been Police Chief for 17 years,” he said. “My detective has been employed for 30 years. This is his first homicide investigation he’s completed.”

Police and medics were called around 9 p.m. to a home in the 200 block of Water Street in Ligonier after a person called 911 and reported that someone had been shot there. Officers arrived and found the body of a man lying on the sidewalk in front of the home with a gunshot wound. Inside the home, police found a woman dead with a gunshot wound.

According to a released from Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman, police were able to identify a witness at the scene and identified a possible suspect and a suspect vehicle.

Michael Johnson

A short time later, Blackman said a LaGrange Police officer spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop it, but it sped off. The vehicle eventually stopped and the driver – identified as Michael Johnson of Fort Wayne – was arrested and taken to the Noble County Jail.

Two female “persons of interest” were also found in Kendallville and Fort Wayne and taken into custody for questioning, Blackman said.

Blackman said his office will seek search warrants Tuesday. He would not release any additional details about the case.

Word of the double homicide spread quickly around Ligonier. Gavin Goodrich has lived in the neighborhood just over a year. His home just a stone’s throw away from the apartment complex.

“I was just at work this morning and my wife sent me a text about what had gone on and everything,” he said. “I mean this community has been rated as the safest town in Indiana. It has been for a long time. So something happening like that around here… it is a little bit off.”

In a news conference Tuesday morning Chief Shearer said this is an isolated incident and assured the public that they are safe.

“We can say to our community that there is nothing to be scared of at this point,” he said. “Everybody that we are looking for is in custody.”

The victims were not identified and it’s not clear why they were shot.

“I want to commend the Ligonier Police Department for their quick response, which led to persons of interest being quickly identified and located,” said Blackman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.”