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Questions surround late-night event that led to mass shooting at Heritage Square

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 9:43 AM EDT
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GRANGER, Ind. (WNDU) - It was a party that went terribly wrong; a mass shooting at one of the area’s safest places, Heritage Square.

“I just heard party in Granger so I thought it would be safe,” Desiree, a resident told 16 News Now Monday.

But when Desiree and a friend stepped away from the Heavenly Goat Brewing Company to take a few photos by a nearby fountain, the publicly shared Juneteenth party took a far from peaceful turn.

“We were walking back to my car when the shots started. You don’t know how you are going to react when you are hearing shots and we were really in a panic. It was really scary. There were shots coming from almost everywhere,” Desiree says.

The shots ultimately left a 26-year-old man dead, four others injured, and nearby businesses with damage to their store fronts, leaving many with questions as to who allowed the event to take place, why additional security was never hired, and why the owners of the Heavenly Goat are no where to be found.

“We just ran. We were just trying to find somewhere safe because my car is not bulletproof. We were trying to just find somewhere safe and there really wasn’t anywhere,” Desiree says.

Broad Reach Retail Partners, who own Heritage Square, told 16 News Now Monday that they are not going to be making any statements regarding the event that led to Sunday’s mass shooting.

As for the victim, 26-year-old Victor Anthwan Kyle, Jr., a memorial is expected to be held Monday at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Road and Seventh Street in Mishawaka in his honor.

As for the investigation, no arrests have been made so far but if you have information, you are asked to call County Metro Homicide or Michiana Crime Stoppers.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

A man is dead and at least five people were shot in an overnight shooting in Granger.

Police were dispatched to Heritage Square around 4 a.m. to investigate reports of a shooting. They say that a bar in the complex was hosting a party that drew a very large crowd.

When Uptown Kitchen owner Johnathan Lutz woke up Sunday morning, “I was on my to work early this morning preparing for one of our busiest days of the year.”

He didn’t expect to see his kitchen part of a crime scene.

“We have property that was damaged. There are literally two bullet holes that damaged through our patio door that shattered from a bullet hole, and our office window, and there are bullet holes inside the restaurant,” Lutz told 16 News Now.

Police say the shooting happened around 4 a.m. following a Juneteeth celebration at Heavenly Goat Brewing Company, an event advertised on social media. But according to Mishawaka Police Chief Kenneth Witkowski, the Heavenly Goat never had a permit for what police are calling an outdoor party that went terribly wrong.

Resident Elexus Daniels, who stayed the night with her father at the Hampton Inn hotel just behind the brewery, says she heard the shots from her bedroom.

“I heard gunshots last night, but I rolled back over I didn’t think nothing of it. I thought it was fireworks,” Daniels says.

Police say 5 people were shot, leaving 26-year-old Victor Anthwan Kyle, Jr., dead, four others injured, and several restaurants, like Uptown Kitchen, ravaged by gunfire.

“It’s very disappointing. We had hundreds of reservations that we were looking forward to serving our guests and our community which we always do. It was going to be a fun and busy day and I feel bad given that it’s Father’s Day, it’s a holiday. Families like to get together for brunch and enjoy that time together and now nobody gets to do that,” Lutz said.

Not even Elexus and her father who had Uptown Kitchen as part of what was supposed to be a fun and fulfilling Father’s Day.

“We were trying to do a father-daughter celebration today, and we were going to kick it off with a little breakfast, go do some axe throwing and just keep it moving but it is what it is. Imagine that. That’s crazy,” Elexus’s father, Alexus Daniels, says.

There is evidence that multiple weapons were fired in the area, resulting in a large crime scene. Parts of Heritage Square remain shutdown Sunday as police continue to gather evidence. No arrests have been made at this time.

This is a developing story; stay with 16 News Now for updates.

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