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South Bend Police ask for community’s help to stop shootings

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After another shooting happened early Friday morning, the South Bend Police Department is asking the community to work with them to slow down the violence.

"It’s just people making a bad choice, really, to fire a weapon,” said South Bend Police Media Liaison Ken Garcia. “Cause at the end of the day, you have to make that choice. Someone has to decide to pull the trigger.”

Garcia said that is the one trend the department is finding with the string of recent shootings the city has seen.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, the latest shooting happened along California Avenue, right near Muessel Elementary.

A red Saturn was allegedly being followed by an unknown black Nissan Altima. Then someone in the Altima allegedly shot at the SUV and injured a woman, before getting away.

Garcia said it’s understandable why community members may be asking, ‘What are the police doing to stop this?’ But he said this needs to be a team effort.

“We cannot be everywhere at every moment in time,” Garcia said. “But people can see what’s going on. People know what’s going on in their neighborhoods. People hear things, they know things. And that’s why we want the community to say enough is enough.”

Friday’s shooting was at least the ninth to happen in South Bend since March 11, 2018.

Garcia said there are always at least 19 patrol officers on duty, 24/7, but the community needs to step in in every way they can.

According to Garcia, South Bend Police responded to 14 gun-related incidents between last Friday and Monday morning, alone – meaning shootings, shots fired, or gun-related arrests.

He said as the weather gets warmer, you’ll be seeing more officers on bikes in downtown and on foot throughout the city.   

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