UPDATE: Syracuse Police Department has released the name of this morning’s male shooting victim. Joshua Randall Knisley, 19, Syracuse, was pronounced dead at the scene by Kosciusko County Coroner Michael Wilson. An autopsy at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center is still scheduled for later today.
Tara Thornburg, 23, Syracuse, is in critical condition at Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital following the shootings which took place in Syracuse early this morning.
Thornburg suffered from what is believed to be a single gunshot wound to the head. She was expected to undergo surgery sometime this morning.
Police are asking the public’s assistance in locating a person of interest, Brandon Thomas Woody, 22. He is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who knows where Woody may be, is being asked to call 911 or the Syracuse Police Department (574) 457-3366. “We do not want any one to approach him on their own,” stated Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello.
Wawasee Community School Corporation has worked with local law enforcement to have additional security at Syracuse School, Wawasee High School and Wawasee Middle School today, according to the corporation’s Facebook page. Doors are locked throughout the school day at all of the schools.
During a press conference at 7 a.m., Ciriello stated a 911 call was received at 12:28 a.m. regarding a shooting at 205 E. Main Street. Officers arrived at the home within three minutes of the call.
Police found Thornburg on the first floor of the home bleeding profusely. While an officer stayed with the victim, other officers searched the home and found the 19-year-old deceased from a gun shot wound in an upstairs bedroom.
No gun was found at the scene.
Thornburg was able to provide information to police on a person of interested. “He may be connected to this,” stated Ciriello. “We do believe this was an isolated incident and there’s no threat to the rest of the public.” Ciriello further stated Woody, Thornburg and the male victim are known associates. “We are speculating at this time it was a targeted incident.”
The home, owned by Lynda L. Thornburg, was occupied by three individuals. However, the homeowner was not at home at the time of the shooting.
It is still unknown if Woody left the scene on foot or drove away from the scene. Police do know that Woody never owned a vehicle or had a driver’s license, “but it’s not to say he drove or borrowed someone’s vehicle. He grew up in this area, has friends and associates in this area,” stated Ciriello, indicating he may still be in the Syracuse area.
Police crime scene investigators are still processing the scene and authorities are unable to talk with Thornburg at this time. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Detectives will be going to Lutheran Hospital to speak with Thornburg when possible.
Woody is no stranger to police. His criminal history goes back to the age of 16 and was waived to adult court at the age of 17. He was sentenced to prison for burglary and dealing drugs and has since been released. In 2013 he was arrested for residential entry while armed and is currently out on bond on that matter. Since then he has been arrested five times on such charges as battery, drugs and dealing. A warrant had just been issued for battery causing serious bodily injury stemming from an incident this past weekend in Syracuse.
The last shooting in Syracuse, according to Ciriello, was 12 years ago, a murder-suicide in Wawasee Heights.
Click to view the press release from Syracuse police regarding the incident.
Related Article: Double Shooting In Syracuse