Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Victim’s father questions witness accounts

Matthew Bark died April 20, 2013, following a shooting at an apartment.
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Gary Bark, father of shooting victim Matthew Bark, said the series of events presented by the alleged shooter doesn’t match his son’s personality.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Elkhart Superior Court 1, Terry Sheets said he shot Matthew Bark in self-defense.

Sheets said he heard Bark and his girlfriend, Nary Try of Elkhart, fighting. He stated he grabbed a handgun from the kitchen of the apartment and went to the bedroom where the couple was fighting to defend Try. Bark then picked up a shotgun and pointed it at Sheets.

Gary Bark said it wasn’t like his son to fight with women.

“Matthew was very conscientious about how he treated girls and women,” he said.

He said when his son was angry, he would remove himself from the situation, go outside and calm down before returning.

“I can’t see him doing anything like that,” Bark said. “He had a temper, but he never took it out on anybody.”

Gary Bark said his son met Try while serving in the Army. He said his son had served two tours in Iraq and one in Germany.

Matthew Bark, a native of Springer, Okla., moved to Elkhart in December 2012 to be closer to Try and to attend school.

His father said Bark, a former code enforcement officer for the Springer Police Department, was hoping to study criminal justice at Indiana University.

Felix Hernandez, police chief at the Springer Police Department, said Matthew Barks was “a really nice guy.”

“(He was) happy-go-lucky and easy to get along with,” Hernandez said.

“I remember him, while he was here, as a good officer,” he said. “All the other officers liked him. He was enthusiastic about his job.” Bark had several arrests for minor offenses involving public intoxication and operating a vehicle while intoxicated after returning from the military.

“We’re both vets,” Gary Bark said. “I’m a vet of Vietnam. It’s just something that happens when you come back. I carried on quite a bit when I first came back.”

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