Fort Wayne Police Department officials say that a woman is dead following shooting late on Tuesday night on Lillie Street. According to those officials, the shooting happened at around 11:30 pm and numerous people called 911 to report hearing gunshots before officers responded.
When responding officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, they found the young woman, Kiera Zepke, a young mother of one child, suffering from a gunshot wound behind a home. Medics arrived soon after and pronounced her dead.
The Fort Wayne Police Department initially released a statement about the incident, saying:
On Tuesday, 05/09/2023, at approximately 11:38 PM, the City of Fort Wayne Police Department responded to the 1300 block of Lillie St regarding a shooting.
Dispatchers received several phone calls regarding hearing several shots in the area. Officers arrived and located a female adult victim suffering a gun shot wound. Medics arrived shortly afterwards and pronounced the female deceased. The shooting incident took place in the rear of the residence near an alley. Investigators are searching the area for witnesses.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Fort Wayne Police Department at 427-1201, Crime Stoppers at 436-7867, or use the free “P3 Tips” app.
This incident remains under investigation by the City of Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Coroner’s Office, and the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Later, Christopher Meihls, the Deputy Coroner Allen County Coroner’s Office, released a statement saying:
The autopsy has been completed and notification has been made to the next of kin for the female victim that was found in the 1400 block of Lillie Street, in Fort Wayne, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at approximately 23:38 hours. The decedent was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.
The decedent has been positively identified as Kiera Erin Zepke female, White, 20 years of age from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Cause of Death has been determined to be Gunshot Wound of Chest and the Manner of Death is Homicide. Kiera Erin Zepke is the 11th Homicide for Fort Wayne and Allen County in 2023. The incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
Further, the Fort Wayne Police Department later discovered the identity of the suspected perpetrator of the heinous shooting, a criminal out on parole at the time of the shooting. The FWPD released a statement after he had been arrested, saying:
On May 10th, 2023 at 1508 hours, 38yo Steven Atkins, was taken into custody and arrested for the murder of Kiera Zepke on 5/9/2023. The Homicide Unit identified Atkins and were able to locate him in Fort Wayne. With the assistance of the Vice and Narcotics Unit, the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit and the Aerial Support Unit, Atkins was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Allen County Jail for the charge of Murder. The Fort Wayne Police Department was also assisted by the Digital Forensics Unit, Crime Scene Management, the Allen County Coroners Office and the Allen County Prosecutors Office.
Featured image credit: Kiera Zepke photo from her Facebook, Steven Atkins photo from Fort Wayne Police Department
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