Three South Bend shootings kill one, injure two and close a small business
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - This weekend turned violent in South Bend. In one night, three different shootings killed one person, sent two more to the hospital and temporarily closed a local small business. Police said they are investigating all three, but some of the people directly impacted said something has to change.
One shooting happened on Western Avenue and was called in at 2:45 Sunday morning. Police said they determined someone driving fired shots at another vehicle and one of those vehicles crashed into Shoooz and More, a local small business which caused serious damage and closed the business until repairs can be made.
"You know how they say 'Oh, I heard the news, and my heart sank, and it was in my stomach,'?" said Ali Salameh whose father owns Shoooz and More. "Truly that was the case for all of us here."
Salameh said he found a vehicle crashed into the family store from a "frantic" phone call from his little brother which left he and his family fearing the worst.
"With the weather, you always get concerned with that type of phone call," Salameh said. "I wouldn't say traumatizing but very scary and very very thankful that once he calmed down to explain the story in a rational manner and we understood what was going on, there was a little bit of relief."
That shooting left one person in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
About two hours earlier, on the 800 block of Roosevelt Street, police were called to another shooting. This one resulted in SWAT being called out because police thought a suspect was inside a house. Neighbors there said the hours that have followed left them nervous about what could happen next.
"It's kind of scary," said Steve Burks who said he's lived on that block for the last 13 or14 years. "You don't know what's going to happen one day to the next. You hope nothing happens, but it just makes you do a lot of thinking."
Police said they detained two people who came out of the house in question but did not make any arrests. The Roosevelt shooting also left one person in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The third shooting was called in at 6:51 Saturday evening. This one was deadly. Police said officers arrived to find a man sitting on an idle snowmobile suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. They performed life-saving measures on him but pronounced him dead at the scene. One neighbor said it's the third shooting he has seen on his street in the last "seven or eight months." The neighbor chose to speak anonymously.
"I'm getting fearful just living here because I have four kids in the house, and it feels like there's no protection anymore," that neighbor said.
The St. Joseph Metro Homicide Unit is investigating the deadly shooting. The South Bend Police Department is investigating the other two. Neither were available for an interview on this story.
People who were directly impacted by these shootings said something has to change.
"I'm actually looking at houses in Elkhart and Mishawaka," the anonymous neighbor said. "I just want out of South Bend. I don't feel safe here because of all the gun violence."
"There's no reason for these types of things to be occurring," Salameh said. "Hopefully, we can come together as a community for all the events that have occurred in the last 24 hours and overcome this."
Police said if you know anything about any of these shootings, you are urged to contact Michiana Crime Stoppers at 547-288-STOP or 1-800-342-STOP.