Neighbors react as Swoveland's investigation releases suspects - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors react as Swoveland's investigation release suspects' names

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The name of eight of the people charged in the death 2-year-old John Swoveland Jr. were released on Thursday.

Jessica Meinerding has lived near the Swoveland's home for two years. She says it was difficult to accept that a child was killed, but says she was glad to hear that several of the suspects were caught. "That really means a lot. I think someone needs to be brought to justice for this," Meinerding said.

Meinerding says she doesn't feel at ease in her neighborhood. "Children can't even play outside. I don't want my children outside without me. I think it is putting a damper on the community," she said.

Meinerding and other neighbors say the suspects involved are to blame for the actual crime, but the parents of the suspects are also being questioned.

"If you can't discipline your own kid, teach them right for wrong and when they do wrong discipline them, if you can't do that you expect this type of stuff," Donnie Price said. Price lives right next door to the home on Campeau St. in South Bend where the toddler was hit by the stray bullet.

Douglas Clifton lives across the street from Coquillard Park where the fight broke out. He has lived there for 18 years and says more police presence is needed near at the park. "As long as the police are present, gangs are not going to come too close, and if they do come close, they aren't going to have weapons on them anyways.  So why not scare them," Clifton said.

He stressed that the activity happening in the park shouldn't happen because there are children present. He says regardless of the time of the year, the park is not a place for guns to be.

"In this neighborhood for people to use weapons, I mean if you want to fight let's get it on, let's fist fight. You just get a black eye."

Several family members of John Swoveland Jr. declined to comment on the situation at this time. 

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