UPDATE: Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting near Western and Grant

Published: Apr. 5, 2018 at 1:36 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

This is second officer-involved shooting in South Bend in the past nine days.

On Thursday police were called to deal with an "unwanted person" at around 1:05 p.m. in the 2000 block of W. Western Avenue.

The scene, a large brick building that has a club (Palacio Tropical) on the ground floor and several apartments on the second floor.

It was there that a person allegedly was threatening to kill other residents with a knife, according to a release issued Thursday night by the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit.

When police arrived, they reportedly encountered the man with a knife, and during the incident, an officer shot the suspect. The suspect reportedly was rushed to the hospital, but he died. An autopsy is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

The police officer was not injured.

NewsCenter 16 talked to the son of one of the second floor tenants. Jerry Burrow said his mother told him the problems started when another tenant began erratically, messing with people's door knobs.

"He had a knife and I, my mom was like, well, call the cops you know and my mom was trying to get, my mom was actually trying to get them to call an ambulance to get him to go to the emergency room and maybe he can go to the mental hospital, but apparently we was too late," said Burrow.

That person was shot by an officer and rushed to the hospital.

Neighborhood activists say the community is disappointed, that no one wants to see violence this close to home and that we need to find solutions to this problem.

"One of the things that we've been doing is we need neighborhood pride," said Sam Centellas, the executive director at La Casa de Amistad. "We want people to be proud of this neighborhood and we do that through our Westside Wednesday lunches and other things and those things start to build that. Generally we have police officers that come to those lunches so we need other people from the other neighborhoods to come to our neighborhood and engage with the community and be part of the solution not part of the problem."

Centellas said they are working to combat the issue with youth in the community. The group violence initiative through the city just opened an office at the MaryCrest building across the street from where Thursday's incident happened. Centellas said he hopes this will help keep the youth from getting involved in violence.

"We believe in this neighborhood, we know this neighborhood's got a lot of potential," said Centellas. "We think this could be one of the coolest cultural neighborhoods in the state and it takes everyone believing in that and caring in that. All those little things that we need to do together as a community to make this neighborhood stronger."

Centellas said they could always use volunteers and help at La Casa. He said the best way to get involved is to reach out to them on their Facebook page or website and say that you'd like to help.

A witness, Kim Hooks Kimble tells NewsCenter 16 that her neighbor was the one that went after the officer and got shot. She said the officer was justified in his actions because her neighbor was running at him with two knives. Kimble was too shaken up to speak with NewsCenter 16 on camera Thursday night.

Kimble and many of her other neighbors were taken in for questioning on the case.

Detectives tell us they recovered two knives, two shell casings and that one of the officers had an audio recording device.

Earlier version:

One person reportedly has been shot near the intersection of Western Avenue and Grant Street in South Bend.

The original call came in around 1:05 p.m., dispatch confirmed. Initially, the reports were for shots fired.

There is one victim at this time, and that person's condition was not immediately made available.

The shooting involved an officer, according to a tweet South Bend Police sent out at 1:40 p.m.

The investigation will be taken over by the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, as policy dictates.

The city of South Bend released comments on the shooting Thursday afternoon, saying the officer involved in the shooting was not injured. The full release has been reproduced below:

This afternoon, a South Bend police officer responded to a call for service in the 2000 block of W. Western Avenue. In the course of the incident response, the officer was involved in a shooting. The officer was not injured. The Mayor is aware of the situation and receiving updates from law enforcement. As with all officer-involved shootings, the Metro Homicide Unit is conducting an investigation. During that process, any related updates will come from Metro Homicide. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident and their families.
NewsCenter 16 will update this story as more details become available.