FORT WAYNE – A local attorney who confronted a man in his garage Tuesday morning is recovering after the intruder shot him and fled the attorney's southwest Fort Wayne home.
Police said David J. Kuker, 45, was attacked when he found the man in the attached garage of his home, at 9409 White Shell Drive, about 8:13 a.m.
The man attacked Kuker, police said, and sprayed an unknown substance at him before shooting him in the shoulder at least once with a handgun.
A neighbor heard Kuker shouting for help after he was shot and called 911 after she found him lying in his front yard, police said.
An off-duty Allen County Sheriff's Department officer lives across the street, and his cruiser was parked in his driveway at the time of the shooting. He came across the street and reported that Kuker was suffering from at least one gunshot wound, police said.
Kuker was taken to a hospital in serious condition.
Kuker is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels and practices corporate law, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, franchising issues, licensing, joint ventures and other complex transactions, the law firm said in a written statement.
Officers from the sheriff's and Fort Wayne Police departments searched Kuker's home and determined there was no one else in the home and that nothing had been reported stolen.
Indiana State Police dogs tried to track the intruder but were unsuccessful.
There was no sign of forced entry into the home or garage, Fort Wayne police said.
Police do not have a description of the assailant and don't know of a motive, including whether the shooting was part of an attempted home invasion or robbery.
"It would all be speculation at this point," spokeswoman Raquel Foster said.
The suspect was not known to Kuker, police said.
The shooting took place in the Shorewood housing addition, just off Illinois Road and about one mile southwest of Whispering Meadows Elementary School.
Southwest Allen County Schools locked down all of its schools for about 45 minutes after the shooting at the recommendation of the sheriff's department, and told parents and Whispering Meadows students to return to their homes, according to a statement on the school district's website.
Whispering Meadows students who were already on buses were taken to Deer Ridge Elementary, the statement said, and students returned after police deemed the situation safe.
A man who has lived with his wife across the street from Kuker for 15 years said it is a friendly place to live and neighbors say hello and are courteous to each other.
"I can't imagine that this was a random act," the man said, declining to give his name. "The guy had to know what he was doing – lying in wait like that."
Kuker has been with Faegre Baker Daniels since 1995 and was named to the Best Lawyers in America directory for mergers and acquisitions, the company said. The statement also said Kuker is active in the community and is the past chairman of Christian Urban Ministries Inc., and a past board member with Matthew 25 Inc., the Embassy Theatre Foundation Inc. and other local organizations.
"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Dave and his family during this time of recovery," Andrew Humphrey, a managing partner at the firm, said in a written statement.
On March 18, police were called to a home in the 9000 block of Shorewood Trail in reference to a burglary inside a garage.
A homeowner told police a man ran into his garage, took a gas can and then left in a Nissan Maxima, according to a Fort Wayne police report.
Police said the theft happened while the homeowner was in his backyard about 1 p.m. and saw the man run into his open garage and then leave carrying the gas can.
When the homeowner asked the man what he was doing, he got into the tan car and drove away, the report said.
Although the home is in the same neighborhood as Kuker's, police do not know whether the cases are related.