Tensions high at a vigil for a slain South Bend man
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Tuesday night, the family and friends of a South Bend man killed on Sunday on Niles Avenue came together for a candlelight vigil in his honor.
However, the vigil began with guns drawn. Officers with South Bend Police Department responded to the area for reports of a young man allegedly waving a gun around near the 500 block of Niles Avenue.
The interruption upset many of the people who attended the vigil.
“For them to show up and want to commit any crime,” said Don McKinney, Chism’s first cousin. “I don’t know what was going through they mind.”
But on the minds of people, a part of Tuesday night’s vigil was a man they knew as “CC.” The group released blue and silver balloons while yelling how much they loved Chism.
According to the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, SBPD got several calls about shots fired on Niles Ave. Investigators say officers found Chism dead at the scene.
According to his autopsy, his death has been ruled a homicide.
On Tuesday, ABC 57 News reached out to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office to get more information on the shooting. A spokesperson said they will provide information as they are able to do so.
Two other men were injured in Sunday’s shooting. However, Kim McElvene, Chism’s mother, said neither of them have told her what happened on Sunday.
“I mean why,” she said. “What did my son do this bad to for you to take his life.”
SBPD Veteran Lynn Coleman said he does not blame McElevene for feeling hurt because the men will not share information. He told the crowd on Tuesday that if they do not share information to law enforcement officials about violence in the city it will only continue to happen.
“They won’t stop,” he said. “Until we begin to say you know I know who did it and I’ll tell and get a support system around that person so that they’re supported it’s going to continue to happen.”
Coleman, along with other speakers sent a message to the group and the community that has been said before: “Put the guns down.”
Chism was expecting a child with his girlfriend before he was killed on Sunday. On Tuesday, his oldest son Senceare Chism said his father has inspired him to do anything including graduate high school.
“I did have plans for graduation though,” Chism said. “To have him there.”
Chism’s funeral is set for Monday morning. The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit urges anyone with information about this shooting to call at 235-5009or 288-STOP.