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Notre Dame student robbed at gunpoint near Riverlights

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Police are searching for two suspects who robbed a Notre Dame student and his grandparents at gunpoint Sunday night near the Riverlights.

“We had come to see the Riverlights. It was me, my girlfriend, who’s also a Notre Dame grad student, and my two grandparents who were visiting for the day. It was about 10:30 at night at that point...and as we were walking back, I guess a couple of guys tagged us to jump us, so as I came around this side of the car, I turned around, saw them running up this way with handkerchiefs on and thought oh no, we’re going to get robbed," said Notre Dame graduate student Joel Brogan.

Brogan said two men pulled out guns and demanded they give them all their money.

He said at first he was just thinking about the fact that he had just bought a new iPhone on Black Friday and now would likely lose it.

“Meanwhile on the other side, my grandpa started just yelling at them...I was kind of just thinking, I’ll give them these things. I’d rather do that than get shot until my grandpa started kicking at them, and I was like oh man, we’re going to get shot," he said.

Luckily, Joel says his grandpa's antics seemed to scare the two away, and they took off running back through Seitz Park.

Upon reflection, Joel says coming face-to-face with a gun was surreal.

 “You’re not really consciously thinking when it’s happening. You kind of go on autopilot," he said.

When he, his grandparents, and his girlfriend hopped back in the car--and locked the doors--reality set in.

“Three minutes later, I just started shaking, because that’s when I guess the adrenaline hit me more...My grandpa kept saying, I can’t believe I did that! I don’t know what I was thinking!" said Joel.

Joel said they tried to track down the suspects using 'Find My iPhone,' and police made it all the way to a neighborhood off of Highway 20, but the suspects must have caught on, because the phone later shut off.

South Bend Police say there was actually another armed robbery less than half a mile away from Seitz Park, and it happened 15 minutes before the one Joel experienced.

There are no suspects in that case either.


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