A man from Fort Wayne dialed 911 following his shooting of 3 individuals at Pokagon State Park, causing them injuries.

On Saturday night, a shooting occurred at Pokagon State Park in Steuben County. The incident resulted in the hospitalization of two adults and one child.

The individual who allegedly fired the shots was identified as the same person who made the 911 call, as stated in the legal records of Steuben Superior Court.

Sgt. Patrick Heidenreich, an Indiana Conservation Officer, received a 911 call at approximately 10:45 p.m., reporting gunshots fired in the vicinity of the toboggan run at Pokagon State Park. The park was bustling with a significant crowd that had gathered to watch the fireworks show.

According to Heidenreich, the authorities concluded that a confrontation took place between two individuals which resulted in one of them shooting the other in the leg. The victim was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Wayne and is currently in serious condition.

Heidenreich reported that a young girl of nine years got hit by a fragment of a bullet and was immediately taken to a local hospital. Additionally, Parkview DeKalb notified the DNR that they might be treating a third victim who sustained gunshot wounds to their leg and arm.

According to Heidenreich, the innocent bystanders who were struck by the fragments of the bullet had no connection whatsoever with the two individuals who were engaged in the altercation.

According to WANE 15, the shooting resulted in the arrest of a Fort Wayne man by Steuben’s Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael Meeks. The accused, Maung Okker Aung, 25, is facing charges of battery with a deadly weapon, which is a level 5 felony, and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, which is a level 6 felony.

Witnesses and those involved provided varying accounts of how the altercation started.

As per the court records, the officers were informed that the altercation began when one of the men accidentally collided into the other while walking on a trail.

Aung’s account

During a police interview, Aung recounted walking on a narrow trail with his girlfriend amidst a crowd after the fireworks display. According to court documents, Aung noticed two individuals vaping directly in front of them, causing the smoke to blow in their faces. Concerned about their asthma, Aung requested the vapers to stand behind them, as per the court documents.

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According to court documents, Aung reported to the police that the individuals who were smoking did end up standing behind him, but they were expressing their dissatisfaction about it.

As per the court documents, Aung questioned the man, “What are you going to do about it?” and in response, the man began swinging and reportedly punched Aung around three times.

According to court documents, Aung recounted to the police the moment when he was hit by the perpetrator. Initially, he was shocked and assumed that the attack would end there as he believed the attacker was only angry. However, he was hit again, and at that point, he took out his weapon, which was concealed in a bag, to warn the attacker to stop. Despite this, the attacker continued to hit him, prompting Aung to resort to using his firearm in self-defense.

During the police interview, he explained that he had fired several shots out of fear that the man would continue to assault him. He clarified that he did not observe any other individuals nearby carrying a weapon, including the person he asserted he had shot in self-defense.

According to court documents, Aung holstered his 9mm Glock clone and immediately called 911. He stayed on the line and followed the instructions given by the dispatchers. Later, he handed over his gun to his girlfriend and surrendered to the police by raising his hands up, as per the court documents.

Witness accounts

According to a witness statement given to the police, Aung appeared to have instigated the altercation by intentionally shouldering the man who was vaping as he walked by. The witness further added that Aung confronted the man and pushed him, instead of the man initiating any physical contact. The witness testified that they never saw the man strike Aung and the entire incident lasted less than a minute as per the court documents.

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According to another witness who spoke to the police, the man who was later shot was the one who struck Aung first. Although they did not witness Aung pulling the trigger, they were certain that no one else in the vicinity could have done so.

Shooting victim’s account

Upon speaking with the victim who was shot, the police were informed that Aung did not make any physical contact with him while passing through the smoke. However, the victim did ask Aung to hurry up, to which Aung allegedly turned back abruptly, causing the victim to run into him. The victim further stated that it was at this point that Aung pushed him.

According to court documents, the man admitted to the police that he had punched Aung multiple times in response to his actions, stating that it was an “immediate and natural reaction.”

The court documents state that the man admitted to smoking weed at a party in a cabin located in the park. After being asked to take it outside, he proceeded to walk on the trail.

During the incident, the man informed the police that he was carrying a firearm, but he lost it while escaping into a wooded area after being shot. The court documents state that even though he had a gun, he did not attempt to retrieve it or use it during the altercation.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has reported that Aung has been taken into custody and is currently being held at the Steuben County Jail.

According to Heidenreich, the shooting incident was confined to a specific area and there is no ongoing danger. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is leading the investigation, and they are receiving assistance from the Indiana State Police and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department.

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Other witnesses

During an interview with WANE 15 on Monday, Chrissy Herman, accompanied by her boyfriend Christian Baez and her 12-year-old daughter, shared her account of the shooting incident at Pokagon.

As they strolled along the path near the Toboggan Run after enjoying a fireworks display, she recalled hearing what she thought were three gunshots.

According to Baez, he and an off-duty first responder sprang into action upon discovering a shooting victim about ten feet off the trail in a wooded area.

According to WANE 15, Baez recounted that Aung arrived at the scene and claimed responsibility for the shooting, stating that he was the shooter and had no intention of shooting the man again.

Baez reported that Aung claimed to have shot the man in self-defense, citing that the man had been physically assaulting him.

As Herman stood amidst the crowd of people, he observed the multitude of individuals attempting to comfort his daughter who was obviously distraught.

Herman recounted the harrowing incident, stating that as soon as the girl heard the news, tears streamed down her face. Christian immediately rushed over to help, and Herman found herself at a loss, shouting at Christian in confusion. The young girl refused to leave Herman’s side, clearly traumatized and deeply worried. Herman revealed that the experience had left a lasting impact on the 12-year-old, who vowed never to camp again.

The presence of Aung with a loaded gun amidst a large group of people made her extremely worried and apprehensive.

“It’s terrifying to think that the man pulled out his gun and shot someone without any thought,” she remarked.

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