A 27-year-old man is dead after a police involved shooting in Elkhart.
Police responded to a burglary in progress in the 300 block of W. Hubbard Sunday around 2:30 p.m. When police arrived on the scene, they say they saw two men leaving the house, one was armed with a gun.
A 14-year-old male was caught and arrested for misdemeanor resisting arrest in the 300 block of W. Lusher Avenue. The juvenile was released to his father after being arrested. The other person, 27-year-old Jamie I. Benavidez ran to another home on Lusher, where he was fatally shot by police, after the man reportedly pointed a gun at the officers.
A woman who lives at the home where Benavidez was shot said she was arriving from the grocery store when she saw a man emerge from an alley. The suspect pointed his gun at her and asked to be let into her home. She said she managed to make it into the house but that the man fired a shot through her door.
Moments later, she saw police arrive at the property and a few shots were fired.
Police say three Elkhart City officers fired shots at Benavidez.
Those names have now been released. They are 23-year department veteran Cpl. Bruce Anglemyer, 16-year-veteran Cpl. James Ballard and 12-year-veteran Sgt. Karl Miller.
No officers were hurt in the shooting.
“They must have caught the man and got to shooting and me and my kids just hit the ground,” says one woman who lives about four houses down from the scene.
“They are usually outside right about this time, you know, luckily it was Sunday they were sleeping late but they are usually riding their bikes around the block and outside playing and they could have been caught in the crossfire today,” she continues.
Indiana State Police were on the scene for hours collecting evidence.
“We have always known we have been on the edge of the crime stuff that happens two or three blocks down but it’s never come up quite this far,” says another neighbor Paul Parsons, “you know, we felt fine to leave our doors open during the day and that kind of thing, and we probably, no i won’t say, but we will be a little more cautious”.
Benavidez has a criminal past that includes charges of strangulation and domestic battery.
Now, his family is speaking out saying that he was not burglarizing the home on W. Hubbard. Instead, family members say his sister lives at that particular house.
“He came to my house to wait for his son and wife,” said Olivia Solis, Benavidez’s sister. “He did not try to force himself into my house or anything.”
Solis said the family simply wants answers about what happened in her brother’s final moments.
“We just want some closure,” Solis said. “We want to know how many times he got shot.”