Neighbors describe scene of Laurel Woods Apartment shooting as 'chaotic'

NOW: Neighbors describe scene of Laurel Woods Apartment shooting as ’chaotic’

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- A shooting in St. Joseph County, near South Bend's northwest side, leaves one person, 28-year-old Dionte Williams, dead. It happened just before 6:45 P.M. Thursday night at Laurel Woods Apartment Complex off of Auten Rd.

Neighbors near the apartment complex say the scene was unusual, but scary. A crowd of nearly 80 people gathered outside and started trouble with each other, causing officers on scene to nearly draw their own guns.

“The scene was definitely, definitely, real unfortunate, it was real sad, honestly," says a neighbor that watched the entire situation unfold.

When officers showed up to the scene at Laurel Woods Apartments, that's when things became even more dangerous. Tenants, and others who live nearby, all came out at the same time to see what was going on.

“At minimum, fifty to eighty people were outside while the police were out here," recalls the neighbor.

Multiple neighbors say the group of tenants started yelling and fighting with them, as they watched from their yards.

“When the police officers came, that’s when everybody from the complex kind of came out, you know what I mean, everybody’s trying to figure out what’s going on," says the neighbor. "I mean, you had some people that couldn’t even stay at their home, they’re trying to talk to the officers and figure out if they can stay at their home because somebody was just murdered right inside their complex.”

With the added chaos from bystanders, the entire situation turned into an unorganized mess of people not knowing what to do.

“You got twenty police officers sitting here at a complex. I mean, the body’s dead, nobody’s moving him, and you have to wait for the coroner," the neighbor says. "I mean, can somebody make some type of organization? I mean who’s gonna be top dog and start delegating and start letting people know what to do?”

Just recently signing his lease, this man along with others fear for the future safety of their neighborhood if trouble continues at the complex.

“It’s honestly a little scary for sure," says the neighbor. "Like, just moving in and you got all of this going on right across from you.”

The South Bend Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation.

If you have any information on this shooting, call Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

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