UPDATE: Suspect in stable condition after getting shot by police
A South Bend police officer shot a suspect fleeing a bank robbery in South Bend just after 9:30 on Saturday morning. The suspect reportedly robbed the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union near the intersection of Portage and Cleveland. As he crossed the Portage Avenue Bridge he was met by South Bend Police.
“A weapon was displayed and officers defended themselves,” said Gary Horvath, a Division Chief in the South Bend Police Department.
Various witnesses said they heard up to six shots from the bridge, police couldn't yet confirm how many shots were fired or if the suspect had fired. Other police units from various agencies responded within minutes. Police credit their quick response to early calls from people around the area. Some calls came in before the suspect had even entered the bank.
“We had several witnesses actually see a gentleman go inside the bank wearing a mask,” Horvath said.
Witnesses who had seen the whole incident stayed on scene as St. Joseph County Metro Homicide began their investigation.
“I saw a guy all dressed in black wearing, oddly enough, winter coveralls, and a black mask over his head completely covering his face and he was wearing winter boots and carrying a bag,” said Rob James, a former US Marshal who was driving on Portage Avenue during the incident.
James saw many other witnesses on the phone with police.
“Another guy was coming with a cell phone across the street following him but staying behind him…and then I heard three shots go off,” James described.
Police said 911 callers were tied directly into the police radio unit to help officers locate the suspect.
“We have to definitely praise and complement citizens that actually called 911 and told us what was going down,” Horvath explained.
Nobody else was injured in the incident. The suspect was taken to Memorial Hospital and is now listed in stable condition. Tonight, police remain on guard at the hospital and will bring him into custody once he is released from the hospital.
St. Joseph County Metro Homicide is currently conducting an officer involved shooting investigation, while the South Bend Police department handles the investigation into the armed robbery. Police says that it is common practice to have Metro Homicide investigate all officer involved shootings.
Police have still not released the name of the suspect or the officer who shot him, and police say that will be only be released pending the end of the investigation.