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St. Joseph County Police continue to search for alleged shooter

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Following a SWAT situation in a rural part of southeast St. Joe County Sunday afternoon, police are still searching for a man on the run who might be armed.

“Well, about 12:15 [Sunday afternoon] I was out in the garage and I saw the police cars go by,” said Jason Kaufman, who lives down the road from the scene. “I knew it’s not common. I knew there was something up.”

The quiet county roads of southern Mishawaka filled with police cars Sunday afternoon to respond to a situation at a house on the 64000 block of Dogwood Road.

A caller told 9-1-1 that a man, who had a warrant out for his arrest, might be heading to the home in a stolen car. The caller also told police that the man might have other stolen property, including possibly stolen guns, with him.

“When our officers arrived on the scene a short time later, they initially heard gunfire coming from very close to, or perhaps the backyard of, the house that we had been sent to,” said Bill Thompson, the assistant chief of the St. Joseph County Police Department.

The gunshots triggered a bigger response from police.

“Alright, here comes the SWAT tanker – one of them,” Kaufman said in a cellphone video he recorded while watching an armored SWAT vehicle pull up to the scene.

Soon after, Kaufman said he heard police talking through a loud speaker.

“They were saying that if he wants to communicate, he has to call the police station,” Kaufman said. “And they gave the phone number; I could hear the phone number. And then after a while, I could hear them say, ‘Come out of the house back to our squad car.’ But after that, we haven’t heard anything.”

Police ended up searching the entire property, but didn’t find the guy.

The search zone then grew. Police spent the early evening driving through the dense fog and country roads; the poor weather conditions meant Indiana State Police could not fly a helicopter.

“One of the things that we’re operating on is the fact that the subject’s working in the same weather conditions that we are,” Thompson said. “So this person can’t see much better than we can.”

As of 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, the suspect had not been located.

Police said he is a 28-year-old black man who is described as ‘medium height.’

He has a warrant out for his arrest for resisting law enforcement in Elkhart County.

Police said there was one woman in the house when they arrived, but she’s cooperating; and so is the person who originally called 9-1-1.

Thompson said they think the suspect may be armed and still traveling on foot.

 

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