Family of man involved in fatal 2019 police shooting want answers

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 11:28 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) -The City of Fort Wayne has had a long-standing policy not to release police dash or body cam video to the public.

That changed recently.

Now, 21Investigates is looking into a fatal police involved shooting that happened in May 2019. Shaquille Kelly’s family says they never got answers or access to any video from that night. 21Investigates put in a public records request for it.

“They didn’t offer us any transparency throughout the whole ordeal from beginning to end,” says Willie Kelly, Shaquille’s father.

Willie Kelly says he wrote letters to government officials, asking for evidence and requesting that they open an independent investigation into the shooting death of his son. He says he never got a response.

He learned through news reports what police say happened.

According to Fort Wayne Police, Detective Christopher Hawthorne, of the Gang and Violent Crime unit, was patrolling southeast Fort Wayne in an unmarked car. An officer-in-training was with him.

Around 2 a.m. they saw a gold Chrystler and began following it. The driver led them to Winter Street. That is when police say the driver shot at a house. Officers turned on the lights and sirens and began following the car. However the driver didn’t stop, according to police.

The driver led them on a chase, eventually crashing into a home near Oliver and Grier streets.

Police say they say the suspect, Shaquille Kelly, was crouched down on the driver’s side of the car. When he started to stand up, police say Kelly was raising his hands to his waist. Believing Kelly had a weapon, Detective Hawthorne fired one fatal shot.

The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office later determined the shooting was justified.

It was captured on police dash cam, but the family has not seen it.

Kelly’s family is just hoping to find some clarity.