South Bend residents fed up with violence


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Groups held vigils for two separate South Bend homicide victims Thursday night. They say it's evidence the violence must stop.

Several people gathered in the 500 block of Rush to remember 27-year-old Matthew Mitchell, who was stabbed to death in March.

Since then, there have been more victims of senseless violence.

On Wednesday, 2-year-old John Swoveland Jr. was shot and killed. Police believe he was hit by a stray bullet when two rival groups were fighting.

"We don't need this type of hurt in our communities," said Tracy Lazo, one of Baby John's family members. "This is actually a cry for this to stop."

Dozens of people lit candles and dropped off donations at a vigil for Baby John on Campeau Street Thursday. Family members are still struggling to cope with the loss, many barely able to speak.

"This family will live with this loss forever," Lazo said. "And, that person, they need to be brought to justice."

The recent shooting and stabbing deaths have many people feeling frustrated. Some think the city needs to take a more aggressive approach to combating the problem.

But, the administration says positive change takes the cooperation of the community.

"There have been these random acts of violence, senseless violence," said Deputy Mayor Mark Neal. "But, we are focused on the effort, we are making process. But, it does require everyone to be committed."


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