Young man killed in early morning shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Just after 4:20 AM, South Bend Police were called to Liston Street in South Bend to shots fired. Upon arrival, officers found 18-year-old Elijah Torres with multiple gunshot wounds, and transported him to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

“I’m kind of saddened by it. I mean it’s sad that people are getting that desperate to you know want to take a life,” South Bend resident Dion Smith said. “As far as being shocked, I can’t say I’m shocked. I’m kind of used to it now.”

Dion Smith who works at St. Augustine Catholic Church, located right next to the crime scene, didn’t know what happened until he showed up at the church Monday morning.

“We just pulled up here today to do work and we noticed all the crime scene tape and everything here so I didn’t hear anything last night on the news or anything over the scanner or anything like that so we didn’t know anything that was going on today until we got here,” Smith said. “It was a relief when we found out it wasn’t actually somebody hurt here at the church, that’s what our initial reaction was oh my gosh something happened at the church.”

According to the South Bend Transparency Hub, within the first two months in 2021 there have been 13 victims of shootings, 3 of which were fatal. In comparison to January and February of 2020, 22 people fell victim to shootings, with 6 being fatal.

Overall in 2020 alone, there were 133 shootings and 23 fatalities.

“The entire city...it’s become a big problem. The crime has become a big problem.” Especially all of the shootings. It’s becoming a problem and it’s scary,” Smith said.

The St. Joseph Metro Homicide Unit is seeking the public’s help to locate 20-year-old Ernest Clark and 19-year-old Ernysia Clark to speak to in connection with the ongoing investigation.

Smith says all there’s left to do nowadays, is tread lightly.

“I just try to be cautious and just stick to my schedule, stick to the things I’m used to doing instead of engaging in anything like that. It’s become a norm in the city of South Bend.”

Metro Homicide is still investigating this incident, and anyone with any information or knows the whereabouts of the two individuals wanted for questioning, you’re urged to call the Metro Unit or Michiana Crime Stoppers.

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