Remembering April 28, 1997: Donald R. “Charley” Knepple

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charley KneppleProbation Officer Donald Knepple was shot and killed after being ambushed by a man at a counseling center on South Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne.

The suspect, a former juvenile corrections officer who had been convicted of attempted child molestation, had arranged a meeting with his counselor and Probation Officer Knepple with the intent of murdering them both. As the meeting took place at about 10:00 am, the suspect fatally shot both of them in the head before he fled to the rear of the center and committed suicide. At the time of the incident Probation Officer Knepple, like other officers in his department, were not armed.

Probation Officer Knepple had served with the Allen County Adult Probation Department for 12 years. He was a US Army veteran of the Vietnam War and an Air National Guard reservist. Probation Officer Knepple was survived by his wife, 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.