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Despite violence, Henry says Fort Wayne is safe

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Sean Bueter

After a violent week in Fort Wayne, Mayor Tom Henry and Police Chief Rusty York want residents to know the city is safe.

That was their message to the community Thursday at a press event at Henry's office in Citizen's Square.

On Wednesday, police snipers shot and killed 45-year-old Kenneth Knight, after they say he pulled a woman off a Citilink bus and killed her, fled, and later took a three-year-old boy hostage in a home on Holton Ave.

It was the most dramatic event in a week of multiple shootings and five total homicides. Fort Wayne Police consider Kenneth Knight's death a homicide, even though it resulted from a police-action shooting.

Henry says the incidents are not random, but stem from only a few causes.

"The vast majority of violent crimes of this nature happen as a result of gang activity, drug activity, or sadly, in some cases, domestic violence," Henry said.

To cut down on the violence, Henry says police have stepped up targeted patrols. Longer-term, he says the city expects to add new police through the budgeting process.

But he’s also asking residents to help police by coming forward if they have information about a crime.

"If you see something, you know something, you hear something, you suspect something, by all means, let the police department know," Henry said. "That's how these crimes are being solved."

Police Chief Rusty York, says his department has closed six of the nine Fort Wayne criminal homicide cases reported so far this year.