Police investigate to see if South Bend shootings are linked
SOUTH BEND -- When Digger Phelps hosts a town hall meeting Thursday at The Salvation Army's Kroc Center to discuss solutions to youth violence in the city, he won't have to look far to illustrate recent examples of it.
A double shooting Monday night, coupled with a shooting that killed two people early Sunday morning, occurred very near the Kroc Center.
It's this kind of violence that led Phelps, the former Notre Dame basketball coach, to organize the Stop Youth Violence campaign.
Police, meanwhile, said Tuesday they are investigating whether the four shootings are connected because of their close proximity.
Two men received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds Monday night while standing outside an apartment in the 400 block of Laurel Street outside of Laurel Place Apartments.
Just a couple blocks away and north of Western Avenue, 21-year-old Kalyn Farmer and 22-year-old Mercede Newbill were fatally shot about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of Napier Street.
"We'll look and stay in contact with metro (homicide) to see if there's a connection," said Capt. Phil Trent, South Bend police spokesman. "It's something we have to do because they were very close in proximity."
The shootings that occurred about 7 p.m. Monday injured an 18-year-old man in the calf, and a 21-year-old man in the thigh.
The 18-year-old victim told police that he was talking to his cousin when he heard a gunshot coming from an unknown direction. The man reportedly turned and saw an individual wearing a black hoodie shooting in his direction. He could not tell whether the shooter was a man or woman.
The victim said he ran through the Kroc Center parking lot to get away. A good Samaritan who was not involved with the incident drove the man to the hospital, Trent said.
The other victim reported the same details to police.
The double homicide from the day before, meanwhile, is still under investigation.
No arrests had been made as of Tuesday in any of the shootings.
The city had gone four weeks without a shooting before the four this week.
Phelps will discuss recent examples of violence among teens and young adults while looking for ways to combat it. That could include, for example, finding more mentors for students and increasing the city's community policing and neighborhood watch programs.
Of the eight homicides this year, six of the victims were between the age of 16 and 22.
The town hall meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.; the public is invited to attend.
Staff writer Tom Moor: