FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Three children and a woman were found slain Wednesday in a Fort Wayne home, and an acquaintance of the victims was arrested hours later more than 100 miles away, authorities said.
Police say Cohen Hancz-Barron, 21, was arrested in Lafayette Wednesday evening in connection with the killings.
The bodies of the victims, who weren’t identified, were found about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Fort Wayne Police spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Webb said. The children were very young and their slayings were “gruesome,” he said.
“When you have murdered children, it’s going to be gruesome,” Webb said.
Although Webb said Hancz-Barron knew the woman and the three children, police do not know what his relationship was to the victims, who he said were likely killed between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Before his arrest, Hancz-Barron was described by police as “armed and extremely dangerous,” and possibly driving a black 2010 Ford pickup that had been stolen Wednesday morning. He was taken into custody through a joint effort between FWPD Homicide, Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, Vice and Narcotics Unit, and the Indiana State Police, according to authorities.
Although authorities haven’t identified the victims, a representative of the family released a statement asking for time to process their loss and for privacy.
Fort Wayne is located about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.
A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks mass killings — defined as four or more dead, not including the perpetrator — shows this is the 16th mass killing so far this year in the U.S. Four of those occurred in Indiana.
Indiana’s three other mass killings during 2021 include the April fatal shootings of eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, and the March fatal shootings of three adults and a child inside a home in Indianapolis. In January, five people, including a pregnant woman, were fatally shot in Indianapolis, also inside a home.
This story was first published on June 2. It was updated on June 3 to correct that police found the bodies Wednesday at around 10:45 a.m., not between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.