‘This 6th grader isn’t coming home:’ A call to end violence after shooting death of 11-year-old boy

NOW: ‘This 6th grader isn’t coming home:’ A call to end violence after shooting death of 11-year-old boy

 SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- At just 11 years old, T’yon Horston was shot and killed in South Bend’s northwest side Thursday night.  

Neighbors say this is nothing new in this area, but they say it’s a shame it took the death of an 11-year-old to get this kind of attention to the violence in the northwest side.  

“11-year-old kid,” said community advocate Lynn Coleman. “An 11-year-old kid lost his life, on these streets of South Bend, to gun violence... We brought people together to say, ‘enough is enough.’”

Angered and saddened city officials came out to South Bend’s northwest side Friday morning to mourn and call for an end to the violence.  

“That’s what these incidents do, they’re tearing our community apart,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller. “They’re ripping into sores, and we need to not only run around to stop the violence, but also rally around each other to begin healing from all the trauma we’ve experienced here in south bend.”

Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert near the intersection of Johnson Street and Longley just before 5 p.m. Thursday.

There, they found the young boy with gunshot wounds, who later died in the hospital.  

His killer, at this time, is unknown.  

“I’m confident that we’re going to come to a resolution from a case-solving perspective,” said South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski. “But how on earth, or how on God’s earth, do you ever get resolution to an 11-year-old that’s dead. To anybody that’s dead!”

Jefferson Traditional Middle School confirmed T’yon was just a sixth grader there.  

“This 6th grader isn’t coming home,” said Todd Cummings, superintendent of the South Bend Community School Corporation.  

School officials released a letter to parents, which said there are social workers on campus for students, who have to deal with the death of a classmate.  

“Today we have to explain to 6th graders, that their friend’s not coming home,” Cummings said.  

And a rallying cry from local leaders: speak up against the violence.  

 “If you know something, if you hear something, if you see something, you have to tell somebody,” Coleman said.  

Mayor Mueller took the time to acknowledge the South Bend Police Department, claiming they are solving homicides at an 80 percent rate.  

But this case is still under investigation, and the killer is still unknown at this time.  

Horston’s autopsy is Friday in Kalamazoo.  

If you have any information, please leave an anonymous tip with Michiana Crime Stoppers at (574) 288-STOP.  

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