More than 20 hours after the first call to police, investigators remained on scene of a deadly home invasion in the 18300 block of Warrick Street in Clay Township Thursday night. The search was also still on for one of the suspects police believe was involved in the violent crime.
The shootings happened just after 10 p.m. Wednesday, a few blocks east of the University of Notre Dame campus. According to police, at least two men tried to break into the home, and one was shot and killed by the homeowner. The homeowner was also shot, and at last report, was in critical condition.
Police said another suspect drove away and arrived at Memorial Hospital a short time later with multiple gunshot wounds. Metro Homicide detectives arrested 28-year-old Mario McGrew for felony murder early Thursday morning but it was not immediately clear if he’s the suspect who drove himself to the hospital.
The second suspect still on the loose is believed to be a 22-year-old black male, about 5’6” tall and approximately 200 pounds with several face, neck and back tattoos, police said. He’s also considered armed and dangerous.
Police stressed the crime was not random – the people involved in it apparently knew each other. And people who live nearby said they were not scared for their safety or worried about the neighborhood’s future.
“20 years ago, the nickname for this neighborhood was ‘dog patch,’” said local developer Dave Matthews.
He’s not afraid to tell it like it is.
“It’s changing is how I describe it,” he said. “Starting about 10 years ago, high end apartments, condos, student housing moved in and have been drastically changing this area.”
He knows. Five years ago, he bought 3 acres about 3 blocks away from the scene of Wednesday night’s shooting. That’s where he built Ivy Quad – high end condominiums across the street from campus. But what does he think about the violence happening so close to something he worked so hard to build?
“There’s so much positive going on in this East Campus Village (a relatively new name for everything south of Dunn Road and north of Twyckenham/SR 23) that one unfortunate incident isn’t going to deter the momentum we have,” he added.
And the East Campus Village area isn’t the only place where changes are obvious. The rest of the neighborhood – including Warrick Street and beyond – has momentum too.
In 2007, two very large, modern homes were built on Willis Street – in the same block but just around the corner from where the shooting happened. People living in both homes told WSBT they’ve always felt safe and they still do.
County records show Notre Dame also owns dozens of houses in the neighborhood, including three directly east of the home where the shooting happened.
Matthews also pointed out the fact that any type of progress takes time.
“Even Eddy Street Commons went very fast, but that started 7 or 8 years earlier with Notre Dame Avenue. Just slowly getting people in, getting people comfortable with the neighborhood and then increasing [housing] density and quality as they built,” he said.
People who live nearby say they’re noticing the turnaround, but what happened close to home is making some of them think.
“If I was considering moving in here, I don't know if I would, you know?” asked 90-year-old Charles Nelson, who lives nearby. “I'd think about it. It's an incident one time, I don’t know, he killed somebody he knew.”