Vigil held for 15-year-old killed in South Bend shooting

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:05 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Pastors and community leaders held a “call to action prayer vigil” Friday to remember a 15-year-old who was shot and killed at Prairie Apartments in South Bend Thursday night.

“You know, we’ve had several lives taken over a course of a couple of weeks in the community. This particular child has been in my home, so you know it hit home,” said Family-Friend Laquita Hughes.

Officers were called around 7 p.m. to the apartment complex on reports of a shooting in the 2600 block of Prairie Avenue. When they arrived, they found Donnie Gray Jr., suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

He was pronounced dead on scene.

“He was a good kid. A kind-hearted child. He loved his parents. He loved his siblings...I love this child, you know, like my own. Just reaching out to his mother and trying to comfort her. She’s not knowing what’s going on,” said Hughes.

The South Bend Police Department says a juvenile has been detained in connection with the shooting.

Police say the suspect was immediately taken into custody and the investigation was handed over to the police department’s Violent Crimes Unit.

Through a collaboration with the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, police say the juvenile was charged for criminal acts that led up to the shooting. The suspect is being held at the Juvenile Justice Center.

“There’s so much going on in our community and we know that South Bend is a great city; however there are areas where it’s not so great, and we need to start focusing on those areas,” said Hughes.

Gray’s autopsy is set for Saturday in Kalamazoo.

The investigation is ongoing.

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