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FWPD: No intent in play when man struck in face by gas canister, causing loss of eye

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Balin Brake eye injury

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A man who was taking part in downtown demonstrations that led to clashes with police has lost his eye after being struck in the face by a projectile gas canister.

Fort Wayne Police on Sunday evening said the injury was incidental and not the result of a deliberate attempt to injure the man.

Balin Brake, 21, told ABC21 that he underwent surgery to remove his damaged eye early Sunday.

In a social media post prior to his surgery, he said he was hurt because of "an unnecessarily and improperly fired" tear gas canister.

In a statement late Sunday, FWPD officials provided the following:

According to our officers on the ground, the protester was still in the area after commands to leave the area were given. Gas was deployed in the area and the protester bent over to pick up the canister to throw it back at officers as many others were trying to do. When he bent over another canister was deployed in the area and that canister skipped and hit the protester in the eye. There was no deliberate deployment of gas to any persons head.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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