UPDATE: Last suspect arrested in shooting death of 2-year-old - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

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UPDATE: Last suspect arrested in shooting death of 2-year-old

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Xavier Primm (left) and Robert Griffin (right) (Courtesy South Bend Police) Xavier Primm (left) and Robert Griffin (right) (Courtesy South Bend Police)
Tarez Buchanon (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police) Tarez Buchanon (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police)
Joshua Hodge (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police) Joshua Hodge (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police)
John Swoveland John Swoveland

County Metro Homicide tells FOX28 that the last of the eight suspects wanted in connection with the death of John Swoveland, Jr., has been arrested.  Lt. David Wells with County Metro Homicide says Xavier Primm turned himself in to police in Decatur, IL.

Police say 19-year-old Robert Griffin was taken into custody at Hickory Village apartments in Mishawaka Friday afternoon. Griffin was wanted on charges of Murder and Attempted Murder.

In all, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office says eight people are facing a variety of charges, including murder, assisting a criminal, and aiding a murder in the death of two-year-old John Swoveland, Jr.

Swoveland was shot and killed last week in front of his uncle's residence on Campeau St. in South Bend as he was playing with a sibling. Police believe he was hit with a stray bullet after a shooting between rival groups.

Police Chief Teachman said in a news conference held Thursday afternoon that it's "imperative South Bend declares its intolerance for this violence."

Four of the suspects are juveniles and three we are not naming at this time.  The fourth is already being charged as an adult, and his name is included.  According to officials, five the eight suspects are tied to a gang.  They are each charged with gang enhancement.  The charges are as follows:

Robert Griffin, 19
Attempted Murder

Tarez Buchanon, 19
Attempted Murder
Gang Enhancement

Unnamed 15-year-old
Aiding in Murder
Gang Enhancement

Unnamed 15-year-old
Assisting a Criminal
Gang Enhancement

Daniel Williams, 17 (Direct file as adult)
Assisting a Criminal
Gang Enhancement
Carrying a Handgun

Joshua Hodge, 18
Assisting a Criminal

Xavier Primm, 23
Assisting a Criminal

Unnamed 17-year-old
Assisting a criminal
Gang Enhancement

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter said they never stopped thinking about the two-year-old victim as they worked on the case.  "All of us have children, all of us have kids who have been two years old, none of us want to go through that."

According to the affidavits, two members of rival gangs got into a fist fight.  Then the next day, the day of the shooting, they met at Coquillard park off Campeau Street to fight again.  Only this time police say they used guns instead of fists.

Court papers say Robert Griffin, a member of the "Eastside" or "Evilside" gang, pulled out a handgun and shot at a "Westside" gang member.  Police say the second murder suspect, Tarez Buchanon, also a member of the Eastside gang opened fire. None of their bullets hit their intended target. 

Police say a single stray bullet traveled about three blocks down Campeau street and hit two-year-old John Swoveland, Jr in the chest.

Lt. David Wells with Metro Homicide was at the scene that day.  Thursday he said, "This was a very difficult emotional case."

Scott Ruszkowski with the South Bend Police Department echoed how hard this case has been.  The affidavits say when police arrived on the scene two-year-old Swoveland Jr was lying on the ground, cradled by his mother.  "You can never plan or prepare for a situation like this emotionally or physically," said Ruszkowski.

Lt. Wells talked about preventing something like this from happening in the future.  He said the key to that is, "educating your kids, loving your kids...teach them there's no future in carrying a handgun."

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