South Bend, Ind. Two shootings were reported about 15 minutes apart in South Bend Friday night. However, it turns out those two reports were for the same shooting and the same victim, Markeese Hunter, 20.
Officers were first called to the intersection of Lincoln Way West and Sherman Ave. around 9 p.m., where a man had reportedly been shot.
Not long after that, police were dispatched to the 1500 block of Fremont St. around 9:15, about ten blocks away.
“I got a call from another sister telling me that he had been shot and on the way to the hospital,” says Hunter’s sister, who wants to remain anonymous.
Neighbors reportedly found the victim in an alley. Hunter was suffering from gunshot wounds to his spine and leg.
“Originally, he thought he was shot in his leg, but later on he found out that he just could not move once they got him to the second location. He could not feel anything from the chest area down,” Hunter’s sister continues.
Police say he was driven to Fremont Street, where he was dumped. Paramedics took him to the hospital where he remained in stable condition as of Saturday morning. He is expected to survive, but may face a long road to recovery.
“Right now, all they know is that the bullet is lodged somewhere in his, probably in his neck area. His arms are working, his arms and head area is working, but anything from the chest down is not working at all,” she says.
South Bend Officer and Common Council President Derek Dieter has known Hunter for some time.
“When I went and talked to him today at the hospital I said after all that, I said you have the opportunity now, to use your life to turn other kids the other way and not make the mistakes you made,” explains Dieter
He was his coach, Hunter played with his kids and he even spent the night.
Dieter says he was a great football player. He says he even had the potential to play Division I in college. Unfortunately, that never happened.
“He recently had been released from prison and I hadn’t seen him for a while, but when you get yourself into a position where he put himself in, you know, the street always wins out. When you are on the street and you are doing things that aren’t right, everything does catch up with you in the end and playing the street game, which he did, he ended up losing a lot,” Dieter continues.
According to the police report, Hunter told officers he was walking along Lincoln Way West when an unknown assailant shot him. He claims to not know or have seen the gunman.
This shooting occurred in the same area where three people were shot last weekend, two fatally. Police say those shootings appear to be gang related. No arrests have been made in any of the incidents.