Community asks for less violence, more patrols after Mexican Independence Day celebration
SOUTH BEND, Ind - On Saturday night, police say more than 100 rounds of gunfire erupted on South Bend’s west side.
A shooting around 10:30 p.m. during a Mexican Independence Day celebration, with hundreds of people in attendance, left four injured and nearby homes and businesses riddled with bullet holes.
Now, nearly two days later, caution tape is still up in the area and neighbors are on edge.
Jim Johnson, a lifelong South Bend resident, doesn't remember the violence being as bad as it is now when he was growing up.
“It was ‘pop pop pop pop,’ one after another, and it's just that they run through here like its nothing and they don’t care who's out, what time it is or anything,” said Johnson.
Officers responded to multiple scenes spanning multiple blocks.
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruskowski says he doesn't understand why people can't just put the guns down to make the community a safer place to live.
"Thirty-six years of doing this, still makes no sense to me,” he said. “The complete disrespect for one another, human lives, property. We've had multiple houses shot up, multiple vehicles shot up. And you know, just in essence, bullets flying through houses and neighborhoods, four people shot on top of that.”
James Quist, who's been living in South Bend for about 25 years, is pleading for more police patrols in the area.
“My opinion, they have enough on the police force, you got a bad area, start walking some of the beat around here, so neighbors know, hey you're there, to protect the neighborhood,” said Quist.
Police have not yet released details on suspects or what prompted the quadruple shooting, but ABC57 is told all four victims are expected to be okay.
Officials are urging anyone with any information on the shooting to reach out to Michiana Crime Stoppers online or at 574-288-STOP.
There will be a prayer vigil on Wednesday from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on the corner of Olive and Huron streets in response to the violent weekend.