Officer and K9 recovering after being shot, suspect dead
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Police trying to serve a drug and gun warrant arrest for 30-year-old Rodney Ross in St. Joseph County Tuesday, turning into a nearly 5-hour long manhunt, ending with a deadly shootout.
Gunshots fired first from Ross and then police in response, leaving Ross dead and one Pokagon Band Tribal Police Officer and a St. Joseph County police dog named Luna with gunshot wounds.
Just down the street, neighbors heard it all go down.
“We heard the last final gunshots happen and I was like...that was not the tv,” nearby neighbor Amber Blake said.
“It was very clear and I think it was about 6 shots maybe 7 and my thoughts where they obviously found him or where close to the gentleman,” nearby neighbor Christine Peterson said.
Residents living near where the manhunt came to a violent end said the area is usually calm and peaceful.
“People even comment when they come to visit about how quiet it is,” Peterson said.
"I always thought it was pretty safe around this neighborhood, know my neighbors and then when that happened it’s like what is going on,” Blake said.
Amber Blake said the deadly shooting of the suspect happened right outside her window, and left her in disbelief.
“It’s literally like watching from the window the whole entire time so we just see the swat team and cops literally down this whole road and when the actual gunshots happened I was oh wait something just happened, this is a real moment because it’s so close to home,” Blake.
The Pokagon Band Tribal Police office, Joseph Kasnia, is part of the St. Joseph County SWAT team called in to help. His gunshot wound is described as minor and he is now out of the hospital and recovering at home.
K9 Luna was released from an animal hospital Wednesday but faces a long-road to recovery, and it’s unclear if she’ll be able to go back to work on the force.
People hope nothing like this ever happens here again.
“I think it was probably a onetime incident it’s not a bad neighborhood it’s not a bad area, just sometimes you get somebody who is doing, commuting crimes and doing illegal activities that just happens to move in to an area,” Peterson said.
“I feel safe but like right now, I mean I have ADT so I do at least have a security alarm and I do have a camera set up but it’s not like I want to move because I don’t feel like there’s any safe place anymore,” Blake said.
St. Joseph Metro Homicide has taken over this case and are still trying to piece together everything that happened Tuesday afternoon.