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Neighbors, local politicians speak out about third teenage shooting this year

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Neighbors and local politicians are speaking out after a third teenager died from gun violence in South Bend over the weekend. 

“I mean nothing happens around here, around this neighborhood, said neighbor Jorge Alonso.

But just before 6 p.m. Saturday evening, a shooting took place in this neighborhood in the 4300 block of Silver Lane in South Bend. It left 17-year-old Daekwon Tobar dead.

“I just seen the road like blocked off around here, around my driveway,” said 19-year-old Alonso who lives next door to where the shooting took place. “It’s kind of frightening to hear about that.”

Alonso says it’s also frightening because this isn’t the first teenager who died from gun violence in South Bend this year. In January, 17-year-old D’Angelo Jennings and 17-year-old Tysiona Crawford also died from gunshot wounds.

“It’s just very devastating, very hard to take in especially as a teenager cause I mean those guys have lives to live up to,” said Alonso.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg agreed. Last night he tweeted, “There will be no national headlines, but we lost another teenager here last night. Locally we’re doing everything we can think of to stop gun violence. What will state and national leaders do to help?”

Indiana State Representative David Niezgodski responded to that tweet.

He said, “After hearing the news of a teen who was killed in South Bend this weekend, I am again reminded of the level of gun violence in our country. A topic that hasn’t been discussed as frequently lately is the issue of just what role gang violence still plays in South Bend. Our former County Prosecutor, Mike Barnes, took significant steps to curb gange violence that I feel may still persist within our community and think that it’s time to take a more definitive look as to what degree this issue affects our community. While we don’t know who the perpetrator was in this specific incident that occurred over the weekend, we do know that gangs aren’t using legally purchased guns to commit their crimes and we all need to play a role in ensuring that guns stay out of the hands of those who are not legally purchasing them. This specific case could also relate to the current opioid and heroin problem that the entire state is facing and that the state legislature is currently debating opportunities to help ease the addiction crisis here in Indiana. My heart goes out to the family and friends affected by this terrible shooting and it is my hope that locally, at the Statehouse, and the White House, more can be done to ensure the safety of our children and loved one.”

But neighbors like Alonso don’t think enough is being done locally to prevent youth violence.  

“It’s already been the third killing in 2018 the year just started,” said Alonso.

Alonso said he’s hoping for more action.

“Just more police out there you know trying to keep the streets safe or something for people like him,” said Alonso.


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