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Police say dying teen named his killer

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Fort Wayne police got a big break in the city's latest homicide where a teen was ambushed and gunned down in an alley last week thanks to the victim.

"No one deserves to be gunned down in an alleyway," Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena says.

Police say after two people ambushed 15-year-old Eric McDonnell in a dark alley off McKee and Euclid Avenue Wednesday night -- beating him and shooting him once -- he told two people who ran up to help him, "Blako shot me, Blako shot me, Blako shot me."

Police say 15-year-old Eric McDonnell told two people who ran up to help him, "Blako shot me, Blako shot me, Blako shot me."

Paramedics rushed McDonnell to the hospital, but he didn't survive.

Court documents show that those two witnesses who told police they heard McDonnell make that dying declaration picked 22-year-old Cameron Blake Hallett out of photo arrays.

He was arrested Friday during a traffic stop.

Police say dying declarations can provide a crucial break in a case.

"Most people when they're in that situation are not going to make a false allegation against someone. So they're really important obviously in this case, it just led quickly to a quick investigation and an arrest. So anytime we can get information like that from the victim, it's great," she says.

She says investigators believe McDonnell was set up and ambushed, so they are looking for more people involved in what happened.

Because other suspects are still at large, police hope people will call them with even the smallest tidbit of information.

"We'll determine the significance of the information, and maybe it's something we have, maybe we don't, maybe it's something we're looking for. So if they'd call with that information we'll gladly take that and we'll run it down," Sgt. Rosales-Scatena says.

"I can't hear him say Mom again, I can't hear him say anything again," says Eric's mother, Tiffany Smith.

We talked with Eric's mother at a memorial service for him Sunday night.

"No matter what the case, no matter what the cause, there was no need for that. He was a very sweet boy, very loving, very caring. There was nothing else. I couldn't ask for a better son," Smith says.

Hallett's case is on a 72-hour hold, meaning prosecutors have that time to decide whether to file other charges against him.

Until then, he is being held without bond.

If you know anything about this case, or have any security video from the area, call the Fort Wayne detective bureau at 427-1201.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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