3 officers on leave after 2 police shootings in Fort Wayne
Posted October 11
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Three officers in Fort Wayne have been placed on a five-day paid administrative leave following two fatal shootings last week, police said.
According to Public Safety Director Rusty York in both cases police were trying to protect others and themselves. He said the leave is a standard procedure in such cases.
"From my perspective, they were justified," York said.
On Friday, a SWAT team fatally shot 36-year-old Joseph S. Schroeder while he held a child hostage at knifepoint. Schroeder was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute when he grabbed the child and barricaded himself inside the home. The woman involved in the dispute escaped. The Journal Gazette reported that Officers Anthony Shefferly, who has nine years with the department, and Cameron Norris, who has six years, waited six hours before firing at Schroeder. They concluded the child was in immediate danger.
"There's no doubt in my mind they saved the life of a 3-year-old child," said York.
On Saturday evening, police said 62-year-old Charles Antrup of Fort Wayne ignored repeated commands to drop a knife, but instead approached an officer. According to police, Officer Christopher Hawthorne shot Antrup, then kicked away the knife and tried to give him first aid. Paramedics pronounced Antrup dead at the scene.
In his first year and a half as a police officer, Hawthorne has already received an exemplary service mention and a letter of commendation.
Norris and Shefferly have both been suspended for police vehicle accidents and have also been involved in other police-action shootings.
In 2013 Norris was involved in a fatal shooting of 19-year-old TaVontae Haney. According to police, Haney pointed a gun at the officers involved after a foot pursuit.
The shooting was ruled as justified and in self-defense by Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards.
And in 2012 Shefferly shot 18-year-old Micquail Thomas. Thomas was stopped by police after running a stop sign on a moped and failed to signal a turn. According to court records Shefferly patted down Thomas when the 18-year-old pulled a loaded gun from his waistband and pointed it at the officer.
Thomas survived and later pled guilty to carrying a handgun without a license and resisting law enforcement.