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TODAY IS Wednesday September 26th
Two Dead, Three in Custody Following Ligonier Shooting
Tuesday Mar 06, 2018 3:10pm
Ligonier, IN

For several years a publication ranked Ligonier as one of Indiana’s safest cities.

That reputation took a hit last night as a man and woman were found shot to death at the new apartment complex between Water and Depot Streets shortly before 9 p-m. The man was found on a sidewalk while the woman was inside an apartment. Both were dead when police arrived.

Police spoke to a witness and learned of a possible suspect and vehicle which were dispatched. Ligonier Public Safety Director Bryan Shearer says getting the information out quickly was a real boost to the investigation.

"A short time later, with a vehicle description and a possible description of the male suspect LaGrange Police Department, one of their deputy marshals, located the vehicle. That ended up in a vehicle pursuit that ended in Steuben County. We did have the name of the male subject we were looking for. The vehicle description and that name did match. So you can how getting that information out quickly to surrounding departments helped this investigation."

Shearer praised the work of LaGrange Police in apprehending the suspect.

"Just great police work -- knowing what's going on the in the area and staging where he did on U-S 20. His thought was 'this individual may belong in Fort Wayne...if he's in this area he may come across U-S 20 and try to go back south out of Lagrange County'...and in fact that's exactly what happened. He saw the suspect vehicle drive by and got directly behind the vehicle and that's when the pursuit started."

The driver – Michael Johnson of Fort Wayne – was taken into custody. He was taken to the Noble County Jail.

Police also took two women described as persons of interest into custody – one in Fort Wayne and the other in Kendallville. They were being questioned.

Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman planned to seek search warrants today and speculated the investigation could reach the point of formal charges. He declined to release further information.

Shearer says it’s fortunate they found a cooperative witness.

"We can't do it alone. We need people to come forward. And they did and that helped this investigation tremendously. All the pieces came together, and as we all know, that doesn't always happen."

Shearer also sought to assure Ligonier residents there was no further danger and that they believe they have incarcerated all who were involved.

Pictured is Lagrange Marshal Rich Snyder, Noble Co. Prosecutor Eric Blackman, Ligonier Police Chief/Director of Public Safety Bryan Shearer, Noble Co. Coroner Joann Cripe, and Noble County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Chad Willett.
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