Violent weekend in South Bend rings in the New Year

NOW: Violent weekend in South Bend rings in the New Year

SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- An already violent start to the New Year in South Bend with police investigating two separate shootings that left five people injured, including a 71-year-old woman hit by a stray bullet while sleeping in bed.

Authorities estimated about 1400 shots were fired in the city from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, with that gunfire hitting several people.

One shooting happened on the 300 block of 29th street and another on the 1500 block of South Miami street.

“It’s just kind of scary you might want to line your bedroom and your living room with something that’s bullet proof,” said Dan Gates who lives on the on the 300 block of 29th street where one of those shootings happened.

Gates has been living at Walnut Grove in South Bend for more than 15 years and he said unfortunately gunfire in that area is nothing new.

“We don’t stand in the window, we’re just kind of more careful I guess since these things have been happening,” said Gates.

Just a few houses down from Gates, police believe the 71-year-old woman that was lying in bed on New Year’s got hit by a stray bullet from someone who likely fired into the air while celebrating.

Another New Year’s Day shooting on the 1500 block of Miami Street also left four young people at a party injured and neighbors frustrated.

“I just wish they’d be more careful cause if one of the bullets would have struck my children and you would never find who did it. One of my kids could be severely hurt or dead.”

St. Joseph County Commissioner Derek Dieter also captured hundreds of celebratory shots that rang out on the city’s northwest side near the corner Wilburn Street and Vassar Avenue just after midnight New Year’s Day. Something Dieter said needs to be cracked down on.

“There needs to be more active and progressive ways to stop this. Let the public know if you’re going to fine somebody fine them and start setting the example,” said Dieter. “Thank goodness more people weren’t hit but we shouldn’t even be at that point where people have to put their kids in the basement, hide and don’t even want to stay in South Bend just because people are shooting guns at midnight.”

Discharging a weapon recklessly could result in a $2,500 fine, but South Bend Police told ABC57 it was unclear of how many people were fined over the weekend.

Both Dieter and another member of the city council ABC57 spoke with say they’d like to all sit down with Mayor James Mueller to find a way to combat this issue.

If you know anything about either New Year’s shooting you can call South Bend Police or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

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