Community members frustrated, saddened after chaotic shooting on South Bend’s west side

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 7:06 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Mexican Independence Day celebrations in South Bend brought a dangerous combination of crowded streets and frequent gunfire.

Four people were shot and wounded during an incident that occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Huron Street and Philippa Street.

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said at least 100 shots were fired there, and some of the squad cars were hit with Mexican flags as they eased their way through the crowd.

“It’s not just us,” Ruszkowski said. “We had medics and fire department personnel who were trying to get in here and get to the people that were injured, and we didn’t know how many, we don’t know who the suspects were. There were people running everywhere. There were still shots being fired when officers arrived.”

And the chief says the shots fired calls kept on coming — covering a nine to ten block area.

“36 years of doing this, it still makes no sense to me,” Ruszkowski said. “The complete disrespect for one another, human lives. We had multiple properties shot up; multiple vehicles shot up. In essence, bullets flying through houses and neighborhoods.”

St. Adalbert Parish is organizing a call-to-action prayer service that will be held outside the parish this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The service will be open to the public.

“It saddens me, you know, for sure, just to see our parishioners suffering because they’re afraid or they don’t feel safe in this area,” said parish Pastor Fr. Ryan Pietrocarlo. “And so, we want to be there for them. That’s the biggest thing. Bring everyone together and make them know that we care for them, that we want to build a safe place for them to live.”

Police say the four people who were shot suffered injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. There is no word on their current conditions.

The South Bend Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation. If you have any information, you’re asked to call Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP or submit an anonymous tip online.

If you’re interested in attending the prayer service at At. Adalbert, the church is located at 2505 W. Grace Street.