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Violence in Michiana: “Why Shoot?”

Joshua Short talks with three convicted shooters in his special report, digging deeper into the rise of violence in South Bend.
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - In the month of April, we’ve seen several shootings in our area, South Bend in particular.

In fact, right now there are over a dozen criminally assaulted shootings under investigation from last month alone, about a handful of them, fatal. So tonight, 16 News Now’s Joshua Short is digging deeper into the question, why shoot?

I caught up with not one, but three convicts, one current and two former. All have shot someone and are paying the price for their crimes.

“I feared for my life, I feared for my friend’s life,” Isaac Hunt told Josh.

“It was about protecting my family and protecting us…to prevent us from going to jail,” Antrone Crockett admitted to Josh, who was also on the zoom call with Hunt.

“I wanted to inflict the same pain on someone else they inflicted on me,” Darius Marshall confessed to Josh via telephone over a zoom call from within the confines of the Indiana Dept. of Corrections Correctional Industrial Complex, where he’s currently serving the remainder of his sentence.

He was arrested in August 2017 on an Attempted Murder charge in Indianapolis. His Sentence: 16 years for Aggravated Battery, he’s currently serving seven-and-a-half years.

Josh spoke to him via zoom with his mother Takisha Jacobs who lives in South Bend holding a cell phone in one hand and a picture of her son in the other.

“Did you ever envision or think about the consequences before you attempted to kill somebody else?” Josh inquired while speaking with Marshall.

“Dealing with that type of pain and not knowing how to deal with it because it was so foreign, I had kind of just lost control,” he said. “At the time I wasn’t really thinking about nothing else but, for lack of words, trying to soothe my own pain and I thought that might have helped.”

His pain stems from an incident involving a loved one. He says, someone shot his brother. So he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“What happened after you pulled the trigger?,” Josh pressed.

“Honestly I don’t know, I was in a very emotional state.”

Marshall may have tried to even the score but he says this game has no winners. Luckily, the person he shot is still alive today.

“I felt like I passed away,” he added.

“There were no winners here,” Hunt told Josh. “I still feel it to this day. This is why I do the work that I do because no one should lose a life.”

Isaac Hunt, former felon. He was arrested Feb. 27, 1990 on charges of Murder and Attempted Murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison but he served 10 years after his sentence was modified to 20 years.

Hunt killed a man outside Barnaby’s just outside Downtown South Bend back in 1990. He says it was self defense.

“When you end up in these type of situations…your rationale is not there…I immediately got away from the scene because I was scared,” he admitted to Josh. “Within 24 hours, we turned ourselves in.”

I talked to Hunt via zoom, along with a man who also did time for fatally shooting a man.

“Was it drug related?” Josh asked Crockett.

“Yes,” Crockett responded after a brief pause.

Antrone Crockett, former drug pusher. He was charged with Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder. He was arrested in 2004 and sentenced to 40 years but only served 16 after he got a sentence modification of 20 years.

“It was basically...there was regular drug transaction...and he got to the point where he didn’t like how things were being handled. So he told a friend he was [about] to go to the police, which he was preparing to do,” Crockett explained. “[He] didn’t think that we’d find out, so leading up to that, before he could make it, we stopped him.”

“Before you pulled the trigger, did you think or consider the repercussions or getting caught or the consequences at all?” Josh asked.

“My conscience was dead to anything like that. I didn’t. Like I said, it was a lifestyle so that was a part of it. It wasn’t a right or wrong about it.”

So where does this lifestyle start?

I had a really good upbringing, I had my mother and my grandmother in my life and they raised me well,” Marshall said. He added: “It wasn’t that the household was bad, I felt the need to do my own thing so I kind of rebelled against the path they were steering me through and I chose my own path.”

“There’s no correct outlet for [anger],” Crockett explained. He continues: “Mama stressed, daddy stressed if they even around because they got work or whatever and ‘Boy go sit down I ain’t got time for that.’ So these emotions get stuck and now you’re out in the community and now it’s just anger.

“You can get a gun faster than you can buy some marijuana in Niles, Michigan,” Hunt said. “We need parenting, everybody is going through a lot.”

“When you hear about this gun violence impacting our kids and these teens, how do you feel?” Josh posing the question to Marshall. “I feel a lot of remorse because like I said, I got two little boys, and a daughter of my own so I don’t think any parent want to go through the situations that my mother [has to] go through, so I feel a lot of remorse for the parents.

These three men, once held captive by their past, are looking forward to preventing others from following in their footsteps.

People are walking around hopeless and that’s why they do what they do because it seems like ‘then what I got to live for?’” Hunt said, adding: When I go downtown, I see cranes going up everywhere, all on the East Side of town, all downtown. When you look to the West and North Side of town, ain’t nothing going on. You don’t see no cranes. So why would I value my life when the people who are controlling the money don’t value my life.

They say communal camaraderie is a start.

But that’s why now the non-profits and all the stuff that my mother’s doing, I want to be a part of that so that I can show young men – like myself and younger – that there is another alternative to dealing with my anger, explained Marshall.

“The code on the street is snitches get stitches,” Hunt told Josh. “So how can the police reduce violence and get the ones off the street who’s causing the most dangerous things in our community when the community won’t speak up.”

“It’s easy for you to kill somebody when you don’t love yourself and when you’re hurting internally, but when I love myself, it’s easy for me to love you and not do harm to you,” Hunt said.

Hunt may look familiar to you because he’s now focused on finding solutions against violence in our communities. He’s supervisor for Goodwill Industries of Michiana’s Group Violence Intervention.

Crockett is currently working on a Masters at IU South Bend. He works as a harm reduction specialist with Imani Unidad and also created a non-profit called Dream Builders Inc.

Speaking of non-profits, you heard Marshall say he’ll be joining his mom’s efforts in the community. Takisha Jacobs is her name and she’s the Vice President of Jump for Jesus and Lead Chief Ambassador for Bullets for Life.

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