The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 1:00 am

Murder suspect forgetful of details

In charging documents, he says he blacked out

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne teen accused of murdering a 34-year-old man claims he can't remember details about the fatal weekend shooting because he blacked out, according to charging documents filed Monday.

Dakota Waudby, 19, is facing a murder charge in the death of Renako Sadiki Kenyatta Thomas, whom paramedics pronounced dead just after 1 a.m. Sunday at an apartment building on the city's south side.

Thomas of Fort Wayne died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the Allen County coroner's office said. His death is the county's 38th homicide this year.

Waudby, Thomas and two others arrived together at the Decatur Road apartment complex, although Thomas initially visited a different residence than the other three, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Detective Luke MacDonald of the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Thomas later rejoined the others, documents said, and he began arguing with Waudby's girlfriend about texts exchanged the previous day.

Witnesses told the detective Thomas confronted the girlfriend about “being disrespectful” and said “she needs to watch how she talks to grownups,” documents said.

This reportedly led to a conflict between Thomas and Waudby, but witnesses described the events differently.

One witness said Thomas punched Waudby in the face when got up to walk home, and Waudby began shooting. Another witness said Waudby told Thomas “not to talk to his girlfriend like that” and fired four to five shots, documents said.

Police received several calls about gunshots being heard about 1:05 a.m.

Waudby reportedly told the detective he told Thomas to stop yelling at his girlfriend when nobody else stepped in. Thomas then ran at and hit Waudby, the teen said, saying the physical contact caused him to fall.

Waudby “then 'panicked' and '(he) didn't know what to do,'” documents said.

The detective tried to talk with Waudby about the gun and the shooting, documents said, but Waudby said he “'blacked out' and couldn't recall how many times he shot or even where his gun was at despite knowing that he '100%' had his gun with him.”

Waudby claimed he could only remember traveling home by car, which is when police pulled him over, documents said.

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