FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A teenage boy is facing a felony murder charge as an adult in connection to a robbery under the guise of a gun deal that left a 27-year-old man dead late last month, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.
Allen County prosecutors on Monday formally charged 17-year-old Lonnel Tinker with felony murder and robbery causing serious bodily injury in connection with the shooting death of Johnny Ray Yates, Sr.
Fort Wayne Police and emergency responders found Yates suffering from at least two gunshot wounds to his back inside a car found along Monroe Street on Nov. 28. He later died from his wounds at a local hospital and his death was ruled by the Allen County Coroner as a homicide.
According to court documents, Yates was likely shot by Tinker while the car was parked in the in the 2900 block of Reed Street and more people are likely involved in the killing.
A woman identified as Yates’ girlfriend drove him to the 2900 block of Reed Street in order to meet with three “younger adults” who wanted to trade guns, according to court documents.
The three were supposed to trade a Glock 48 with a drum magazine for two of Yates’ guns, the woman told detectives in court documents.
While she sat in the driver’s seat and Yates sat in the car’s passenger seat, two people got into the back seat of the car to conduct the gun deal, court documents said. One of those people the woman identified as Tinker, who sat right behind Yates.
A third person then approached the car and greeted Yates through the window. After that, the people in the back seat drew handguns and pointed them at Yates and the woman, the woman told detectives in court documents.
They then began to demand they that they hand over everything they had.
The woman told detectives she shut off the car and one of the people in the backseat then snatched the keys out of the ignition. She snatched them back, she said during the interview with detectives, and then heard gunshots from the area where Tinker was sitting.
The woman dove out of the car onto the ground and watched the two men in the backseat of the car as well as the one who approached it and greet Yates flee. She hopped back into the car and began to drive, she said, ending up on Monroe Street.
In an interview with detectives, she identified the man in the backseat with Tinker, who has not been charged, and showed them a photo of Tinker she found off of Facebook that confirmed to police his identity, court documents said.
Investigators also reviewed surveillance video that captured the homicide, showing the three people involved coming to the car and leaving, court documents said. They also enlisted the help of a confidential informant who knew some of the people involved.
Tinker is also charged with using a firearm in the commission of a crime, which could enhance his sentence if he is found guilty or convicted of the felony murder and robbery charges.
He is currently being held in Allen County Jail.