A Fort Wayne man who shot at police before an officer returned fire and shot him as he attempted to elude them at a north-side motel pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Lance Morningstar, 44, also known as Joshua Marlin and Josh Anderson, pleaded guilty Thursday in Allen Superior Court. A plea agreement calls for a 25-year sentence, with 20 years behind bars and five years suspended. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24.
Police were called to the Travelodge off Lima Road about 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5. They were told an armed man was arguing with someone in the parking lot. When officers arrived, Morningstar, fitting the description of the suspect, ran past officers wearing a backpack and holding items in his hands. Police chased Morningstar into the parking lot at Wyndham Garden, tackling him and using a stun gun to try to subdue him, court documents said.
Morningstar then got out a black handgun and fired two shots before his gun malfunctioned, court records said. Officers reported Morningstar was on his stomach and firing the handgun from underneath his body.
Two officers said they felt bullets fly past their legs and thought they'd been hit. An officer returned Morningstar's fire, striking him about four times, according to a relative of Morningstar's. Morningstar was taken to a hospital for treatment.
In Morningstar's backpack and fanny pack, police found Fentanyl, methamphetamine, Spice, marijuana and oxycodone pills. They also found two-way radios and nearly $4,000 in cash. Morningstar was carrying a black Ruger LCP .380-caliber gun with three live rounds in the magazine, court documents said.
Morningstar faced a slew of charges besides the attempted murder charge. They included drug dealing charges and charges of being a felon carrying a gun, carrying a gun without a license, two counts of resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon.