City leaders respond to South Bend violence - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

City leaders respond to South Bend violence

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Community members are disturbed Friday after gunshots rang out Thursday night near a prayer vigil for shooting victims. Now, city leaders and the community are saying enough is enough.

"Ya know, I'm kind of used to it, but it's ignorant," said one South Bend resident.

The violence in South Bend has become routine, but that doesn't mean people accept it. After hearing gunshots near a prayer vigil Thursday night, South Bend's Anti-Violence Commission is looking for a permanent solution to the problem.

"We need to get it right the first time," said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The Anti-Violence Commission will be discussing strategies that involve law enforcement, social services, and community leaders. In the meantime Mayor Buttigieg isn't taking these crimes lightly.

"When you're the care-taker of a community, when that's your job, you take every one of these incidents personally," said Mayor Buttigieg.

He also wants criminals to know they're under the microscope.

"The next violent incident is going to lead to a whole lot of attention from law enforcement but there are also services for people willing to change," said Buttigieg.

Police Chief Ron Teachman said he wants to build a partnership of trust with South Bend neighborhoods because if people don't share the information they know about violent crimes, police can't investigate. Chief Teachman added it would be a leap to assume the gunshots heard Thursday night are a message from criminals to police, but he's not ruling it out.

Teachman said, "If in fact those gun shots were a message sent to us we need to send a message back and I'm calling upon the community to do that loud and clear by working with us and giving us information."

South Bend Police said they did not find any evidence that there were guns involved near the vigil, but several neighbors say they heard gunshots. Regardless, many want the violence the stop.

"All these young kids losing their lives over nothing, it needs to stop," said a South Bend resident.

Police say any information, no matter how small, can help combat the violence. If you know anything about the shootings you can call Metro Homicide at 235-5009 or South Bend Police Crime Stoppers at 288-7867.

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