One man killed during advertised party, was a permit needed for the event?

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GRANGER, Ind. --- A mass shooting at Heritage Square in Granger left one man dead and four others injured.

The victim has been identified as Victor Anthwan Kyle, Jr., 26.

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit was called out to Heritage Square where an area bar was hosting an advertised Juneteenth party that drew a large crowd, according to officials.

Officials said evidence suggests that multiple weapons were fired in the area.

“It’s just, it’s outrage,” St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners President Andy Kostielney said. “I mean, the fact that an event organizer would have an event, and not have it end until three o’clock in the morning, I mean nothing, most bars, have been closing earlier than that because of violence and things like this taking place. So there’s just, there’s no reason. This event should have happened—at least for the duration that it did.”

An event flyer advertised a Juneteenth celebration at the same address as Heavenly Goat Brewing Company. ABC57 Investigates turned to City of Mishawaka legal counsel to find out if an event like this one would have required a permit.

Heavenly Goat Brewing Company does have a Granger address, but officials said it is the City of Mishawaka that governs the area. There is still much to be done in the investigation, so ABC57 Investigates is looking at the potential permit process from a broad perspective.

Organizers never applied for a permit, but for an indoor event, such as this Juneteenth celebration, it appears that a permit was not needed, as long as normal guidelines, such as fire codes, were met.

“So let’s say if it’s an outdoor event and the capacity is 100, then they should limit it to 100, but that didn’t happen,” Kostielney said. “And then, there was no security at all.”

With any event, Kostielney said organizers need to properly plan any for possible outcome.

“But particularly you need to have security,” Kostielney explained. “That just kind of adds a basic fundamental piece for any, any event that you need to have. I think had that taken place, then maybe some of this would have kind of, you know wouldn’t have been nearly as much of an issue as it turned it out.”

City of Mishawaka legal counsel said they are trying to locate the owner of Heavenly Goat Brewing Company to find out who set up the event. Kostielney said the responsibility of it all falls on both the event organizer and host.

“Because they’re the ones that were in control of both letting people in and lack of security, but also I think it depends on the establishment itself,” Kostielney said. “I mean, how much control do they have, do they just rent the space out and pay no more attention? So I guess that coordination would have been helpful as well, I mean I think, I would have thought the owner of the space would have required certain things for an event to come in.”

The flyer advertised that the event was hosted at Heavenly Goat Brewing Company and masks would be required upon entry, suggesting plans were for an indoor event only. An indoor event, such as this one, does not appear to have needed a permit.

However, if organizers had wanted to host anything outside in the parking lot, they would have needed to go in front of Board of Public Works and Public Safety, plus police and neighbors, according to Kostielney.

It appears that nothing was set up on the outside and was never intended to be an outdoor function, according to Kostielney. If that was the initial plan, then organizers would have needed a permit. Still, Kostielney said there are a lot of hoops to jump through to even set up a 5K or motorcycle run and that there should have been a structure plan in place.

The aftermath also impacted neighboring businesses having to close on Father’s Day and cancel hundreds of reservations.

“Especially as they’re coming out of COVID, these are the kinds of events that help them get back to where they need to be, and they didn’t have the ability to do that because of incredibly poor planning,” Kostielney said.

There are no further updates at the time of this post and no arrests have been made. CHMU said investigators are still searching for witnesses and downloading video surveillance.

If you know anything about what happened, call (574) 235-5009 or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

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