LIGONIER — Three persons of interest are in custody in Noble County in connection with a double homicide Monday evening in Ligonier. This is the first homicide in the Noble County city in 25-30 years.
Michael Johnson, Fort Wayne, has been arrested, along with two unidentified females who are persons of interest. Charges have not been filed against the individuals at this time.
The names of the victims have not been released.
Police note they feel the persons involved have been taken into custody and the public is not in any danger.
Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman reports shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, March 5, Noble County Dispatch received a 911 call from a person reporting shots fired in the 200 block of Water Street, Ligonier. The first emergency personnel at the scene found a male lying on a sidewalk, dead from a gunshot wound. Upon further investigation a female was found inside the apartment area, also deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.
A witness at the scene provided police with crucial information. Ligonier Police Chief Bryan K. Shearer stated this information started the investigation rolling and information was quickly sent to surrounding police agencies. A short time after a description of the vehicle and person of interest, a LaGrange Police officer observed the vehicle on US 20.
A brief pursuit took place before the vehicle was stopped in Steuben County. Johnson was identified as the driver. According to police, the identification of the vehicle and its registered owner matched the description of a possible suspect. The two females were located in Kendallville and Fort Wayne.
“We will be seeking search warrants today (Tuesday, March 6) and hope to have the investigation to a point very soon when the case will be reviewed for formal charges,” Blackman stated.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, authorities noted the investigation was just 14 hours old and the next 24 hours would hopefully provide more information.
The prosecutor’s office and Ligonier Police credit the cooperative efforts of a witness, who willingly came forward to provide suspect information leading to information being distributed to surrounding police agencies in the quick apprehension of a suspect. “This is how teamwork works,” Shearer said.