Two teens attempting to rob an unsuspecting victim late Saturday night wound up running for cover themselves after the man pulled out a gun and began shooting. He ultimately ended up killing one of the teens with a shot to the chest.
The incident, which occurred at roughly 11 p.m. Saturday in Fort Wayne, Indiana, began when the two teens approached the man who was on the front steps of his apartment building.
According to police spokesman Mark Brooks, the man immediately started shooting once the duo tried to rob him. The barrage of bullets struck one of the men, now identified as 18-year-old Jaquese Dandridge of Fort Wayne, in the chest.
Dandridge, who was declared dead at the scene, reportedly was armed with an airsoft gun, preliminary reports stated.
His accomplice, a 16-year-old whose name has not been released, was able to escape the barrage of bullets unharmed and flee the scene. Police were subsequently able to identify the teen and arrest him a day later.
The man who drew his gun received a minor gunshot wound to his foot during his encounter with the two assailants. He was treated at a hospital and released, police said.
Blake Stoneman, who lives in the apartment house, said he heard the gunshots Saturday night followed by screaming. He went outside to make sure his girlfriend, who had gone out for fast food, was not caught in the crossfire. She was not around, but his neighbor was.
Stoneman, 21, said his neighbor told him he had just killed a man to protect himself.
“He wouldn’t hurt a fly unprovoked,” Stoneman said of his neighbor. “So it was definitely in self-defense.”
His neighbor, who was going to grab a phone to call 911, asked him to keep an eye on the wounded man lying nearby.
“He was like, ‘Make sure that this guy doesn’t try to get up and get away,’” Stoneman said.
Although the shooting has currently been ruled a homicide, police are still investigating the circumstances and have said it appears the man’s claims of self-defense are justifiable
“If someone tried to rob you on your front porch … you could be justified in using force to protect yourself, including deadly force,” Brooks stated.