City leaders react to shooting death of 7-year-old Chrisyah Stephens

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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City of South Bend leaders are speaking out after the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl on Saturday.

The mayor, chief of police and other community leaders had plenty to say after the tragic death of Chrisyah Stephens.

The press conference happening at the site of that fatal drive-by shooting where 7-year old Stephens lost her life at a birthday party.

Chief Scott Ruszkowski and Mayor James Mueller expressing frustration after the latest act of gun violence in South Bend.

Saying that in just the last three months the city has seen 47 people shot and 98 people shot in 2020 so far.

The message from the city is that the community needs to come together and reach out to authorities to help catch the criminals behind the violence.

“Our legal system may be imperfect, but it still offers a better path to justice than justice on the streets,” Mayor Mueller says. “And this outcome here shows just how devastating, when people take justice into their own hands, how devastating it can be to our community. So we need to come together, and I know there are a lot of things we can improve upon as a city, as a criminal justice system, but as we’re working toward improving those, we need to come together and make sure this doesn’t continue in our city.”

Chief Ruszkowski saying that all of these shootings in South Bend this year could have been prevented and if the community would speak up and work with authorities then it is possible Chrisyah Stpehens might still be alive.

“Every one of these could have been prevented.” Chief Ruszkowski says. “Somebody else knew before something bad was going to happen and they didn’t do anything to stop it. They didn’t call us. They didn’t get a hold of family, get a hold of friends to try and stop this from happening. Once that trigger is pulled that bullet doesn’t come back. You don’t get a do over, you can’t wish it wouldn’t have happened. It’s too late. You can wish all you want but it’s not going to and when I look and see all the officers who have been working 24/7 not just on this but on all the other incidents that we’ve had around the city, the shooting incidents, they’re tired, they’re psychologically stressed, our community is. When is going to be the last one?”

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