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Teen hurt in Elkhart shooting

Elkhart police responded to reports of gunfire on Indiana Avenue.
Tim Vandenack and Sharon Hernandez
Posted on June 6, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 7, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

ELKHART — Police say a teenager was the victim of a shooting that was reported Thursday morning, June 6, on the south side of the city.

The victim was identified as Latyris Mitchell, 19, of Elkhart. According to a press release from the Elkhart Police Department, Mitchell remains in “guarded condition” at Elkhart General Hospital. The hospital would not release any information on Mitchell’s condition.

Officers were dispatched at 11:48 a.m. to the 200 block of East Indiana Avenue to reports of sounds of gunshots.

Police blocked off a stretch of the street where the Roosevelt Center and several businesses are located. The roadway and businesses remained off-limits to the public, surrounded by yellow crime-scene tape, until around 2 p.m.

Police issued a press release disclosing that officers were sent to the scene in response to reports of shots fired and found the victim. An unknown number of suspects ran from the scene, police said.

Angie Johnson, a woman who lives in the area, said she saw a man on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance about two blocks south of Indiana Avenue on Frances Avenue. Police had swarmed to the scene, she said, but revealed little.

“They really wouldn’t say anything but a shooting,” she said.

Terry Haas, who lives in the area, said he heard two to three gunshots, then rushed to the area to see what was happening. “I was on the porch. I heard it — pop, pop,” he said.

Arden Betts happened to be walking in the area and also heard gunshots. He poked his head from Kinzy Street to Indiana Avenue and saw people scattering.

“I looked around the corner and I just saw everyone separating,” Betts said.

Nancy, a woman who only wanted to be identified by her first name, was sitting in the porch at her mother’s house on Indiana Avenue, less than a block away from the scene when she heard some shots.

She said she initially heard two to three shots, and when she looked up she saw a man running from the scene toward Frances Avenue. Seconds later the same man and two others came back from Frances Avenue, crossed Indiana Avenue and walked away from the scene, going northwest on Eden Street.

She said two of the men were dressed in black, while one was dressed in red and white. Nancy said she was not able to tell the men’s ages because they were all wearing hoodies.

Brandi Martin, whose husband, Rick Martin, manages Puff’s Smoke Shop, located in the closed-off area of Indiana Avenue, said her husband heard shots coming from outside the store. On exiting the locale, her husband saw a male who had been shot, he told her. In the chaos, when he looked a short time later, the apparent victim was gone.

“He didn’t say he heard anybody fighting. Just a couple shots,” Brandi Martin said. Police were reviewing security video from the store for any clues, she said.

Betts and Martin said incidents like the apparent shooting can make it scary living in the neighborhood. “I can’t even let my kids play outside,” said Martin.

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