South Bend Officer Shoots Suspect in Fight for Life
Monday, 11/20/06, a South Bend, IN PD officer was in a fight for his life against a man trying to kill him. In the end the officer was able to use his handgun and shoot the suspect who later died at a local hospital. Thank God the good guys won in this one. The officer was treated and released at a local hospital of undetermined injuries.
Here is the Article From the South Bend Tribune
November 21. 2006 6:59AM
Struggle ends in death
Police: South Bend officer fatally shot suspect
Tribune Staff Writer
Tribune Staff Report
SOUTH BEND -- A man was shot to death Monday afternoon by a South Bend police officer during what police are calling a physical altercation between the two.
The shooting victim -- whom police had not identified as of late Monday night -- was reportedly shot in the chest just before 4 p.m. in the front yard of a home at 1915 S. Vernon St., according to police. The crime scene is only about a block away from Lincoln Primary Center.
The man was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he later died, police confirmed.
The male officer, who was at the location responding to a domestic disturbance, was treated for minor injuries at an area hospital. Police did not release his name Monday night.
The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit was called out to investigate, which is standard procedure regarding officer shootings.
The Metro Homicide Unit was interviewing a few witnesses Monday night.
Police were called to the 1400 block of East Bowman Street at 3:44 p.m. in reference to a domestic disturbance occurring in the street between two people.
Officers found no active disturbance in progress when they arrived. They were then given an address in the 1900 block of South Vernon Street -- which is right around the corner from the original call -- where one of the combatants was thought to be.
The officer called the dispatch center at 3:52 p.m. to advise them he was going to that address.
Within a minute of the call, a physical altercation between the two then reportedly broke out, which ended when the officer fired his gun. Police say one of the two people involved in the earlier domestic disturbance was the man who was shot.
"We have reason to believe the officer was being assaulted," Trent said.
It is not clear at this time why the officer and man were fighting.
A neighbor -- who declined to give his name -- said he saw the shooting victim lying on the ground on the front yard of the home. He described the shooting victim as a white male in his early or mid-20s.
Another man was taken away in a police car about 4:40 p.m., after he had been sitting in another police car for more than 30 minutes. Trent did not know whether he was a witness or a suspect in the case.
The officer, meanwhile, was getting X-rayed at an area hospital Monday evening for his unknown injuries.
"During normal procedure, we would allow the officer a little bit of time" off work, Trent said.
Monday's shooting took neighbor Norma Hobbs by surprise.
"This is rare for our neighborhood," she said. "We have a diverse neighborhood where everyone gets along. Our kids play together with everyone else."
According to Tribune records, this is the first time in almost five years a South Bend police officer has killed someone.
Ricki Wiltfong, 49, was the last man killed by a South Bend officer. He was shot by Steven Spadafora during a standoff Jan. 18, 2002, at 1314 W. King St. Police later said that shooting was justified.
Staff writer Tom Moor: