Fort Wayne, In (Indiana's NewsCenter) - 33 year old Lucius D. Washington, was shot in what the Allen Coundy Coronor's Office has ruled a homicide/police action shooting in the area of Main St. and Cherry St. early Friday morning.
It’s somewhat unusual to see a state trooper linked to a police action shooting near downtown, but state police do have law enforcement powers statewide.
The unnamed trooper, with four and a half years on the force, was returning from dropping off a prisoner at county lock-up when the incident occurred.
State Police Sgt. Ron Galaviz says the officer was west-bound on Main about three a.m., when he looked over to see several people involved in a violent altercation at Main and Cherry Streets.
The trooper “doubled back” and ordered those involved to stop.
Sgt. Galaviz says a 33-year old man ignored the order, and hustled away on foot.
The trooper followed in hot pursuit, and scuffled with the man, before it ended in police gunfire.
" What's being looked into is what the dynamic was between that point and the point where the trooper drew his duty weapon and fired," says Galaviz.
We talked to a neighbor who was defending the trooper, after some other civilian witnesses were critical of his actions.
" They're trying to say it's the police officer's fault, and I don't think so. I think they should shut that bar down. They've always had trouble over there," says Helen White, who claims to have seen the incident unfold.
Galaviz could not say if the confrontation broken up by the trooper involved patrons of the bar at the southwest corner of Main and Cherry Streets.
Sgt. Galaviz was also unable to say whether the shooting victim was armed at the time.
The state trooper is on paid administrative leave for now.
State police are in charge of the investigation to determine if one of their own was warranted in using deadly force.
Washington is the 14th homicide victim in Allen County in 2012.
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