A fender-bender just two blocks from the Mishawaka Police Station has turned into a shooting investigation.
Just before 10:30 a.m. Monday, Mary Patterson, 32, of Mishawaka rear-ended another vehicle stopped at the intersection of Church St. and Lincolnway E.
The driver of the first car stepped-out and noticed Patterson sitting in her Buick SUV with a gunshot wound to her stomach.
"Well it's pretty shocking to hear that there was a shooting victim. At this point the victim has a big part in how we're going to proceed as far as information we gather from her and from the vehicle she was actually in,” Lt. Tim Williams with the Mishawaka Police Department said.
Patterson’s Buick was photographed, dusted and analyzed in an evidence garage at the Mishawaka Police Department. Based-on their search, investigators were led to the Riley High School graduate’s home along the 700 block of Lovechio Dr. in Mishawaka’s Merrifield Downs subdivision. Police quickly determined Patterson was shot inside her modest ranch-style home, but remained tight-lipped as to what evidence they recovered.
Later in the afternoon, NewsCenter 16 witnessed Patterson’s longtime live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Rowe, carrying bags of material possessions to a black van parked in the driveway. While Rowe wouldn't discuss matters on-camera, she did speak candidly off-lens, saying she was sick of the "drama.” Rowe said Monday morning’s shooting left her with no choice, but to move out of Patterson's home “for good.”
"The good thing is it didn't happen downtown here, the bad thing is we did have a shooting. Our prayers go out to the victim and hopefully everything turns out well. But we'd definitely like to find out what happened and if there is someone responsible for it, that we get them into custody,” Lt. Williams concluded.
According to St. Joseph County Jail records, Patterson has four arrests dating back to 1999:
7/2/1999 - Criminal Conversion – Described by Indiana Code 35-43-4-3 as: “A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person commits.”
9/19/2006 - Resisting Arrest and Public Intoxication
1/17/2007 - Criminal Recklessness – Described by Indiana Code 35-42-2-2 as: “The element of hazing; liability barred for good faith report or judicial participation.”
1/7/2010 – Arrest for an outstanding warrant in Santa Rosa, Fla.
Investigators are unsure if Patterson’s criminal past played any role in her shooting injury. As of Monday at 9 p.m., no one had been taken into custody as Patterson sat in critical, but stable condition at an area hospital.