Neighbors react to two shootings in Elkhart Neighborhood
Neighbors are appalled by the level of violence in their community.
At 10:22 a.m. Elkhart Police responded to a shooting call at 514 West High Street, after a man and a woman were arguing. In the dispute, police say the man drew a gun and fired at the woman, the shots missing her, but hitting a child approximately two years old.
Minutes later, after their description was sent out to responding units, officers discovered the suspect nearby around 7th Street and Wolf Avenue. Police attempted to get the suspect to cooperate, but events led to an officer to draw their own gun, and shoot the suspect, killing them.
Neighbors, appalled by the deadly events unfolding in their community, have said the violence is happening all too often, and asked when it would all stop.
"We have children that run and play out here. And to hear that that child died? It’s devastating,” said a concerned woman, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Elkhart Police Chief Kris Seymore gave a brief statement: “A two year old child was killed. Our officers responded. They were given a description of the suspect. They located him, and engaged him.”
With two fatal shootings in one morning, community members who area already overwhelmed by violence are left wondering what can they do?
“What can we do to stop it?" asked the concerned woman. "I have no idea. How do you reach people, that their minds seem to be so disconnected from what is true and real that they just run around and shoot?”
She has lived in the community for nearly twenty years, and said shootings are a common occurrence.
“I don’t know how many times the police have been through here or that there’s been gunfire,” she said.
And now with the death of this two-year-old, she asked: “How many kids got to die before things change?”
While their is unfortunately no answer to her question, everyone seems to agree, the community needs to come together.
“I know that we as a community have a responsibility to try and watch over each other,” said the woman.
Chief Seymore added "This is not what our community wants, this is not what our police department wants. What kind of community do we want? Stop. There’s better ways to handle things.”
The officer involved in the shooting is on paid administrative leave.