Curtis Hill: Crowd disrupted Elkhart triple homicide investigation

Elkhart Police officers investigate a shooting that claimed three lives in the 600 block of Strong Avenue during the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. (Photo supplied/The Elkhart Truth)

Three people were killed in a shooting in Elkhart.

Officers with the Elkhart Police Department were sent to the 600 block of Strong Avenue around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, on the report of a shooting, according to Sgt. Chris Snyder with the Elkhart Police Department.

Officers arrived on scene and found three male victims, Snyder stated.

Two victims were located inside a home and one victim was located in the tree lawn, Snyder stated.

Each of the victims had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers did make at least two arrests after a crowd of people gathered in front of the home and began disrupting the investigation, according to Elkhart County Proseuctor Curtis Hill.

“There was considerable amount of time and resources spent just calming the scene and every minute that you engage in doing something other than moving forward with the investigation, the investigation gets that much more difficult,” Hill stated during a news conference that took place on Monday morniing.

It appeared to be a targeted attack as two assailants are believed to have forced entry to the home and began firing, Hill stated.

In addition to the victims, there were 7 other people inside the home, including four children.

Detectives are currently conducting an investigation including talking to witnesses and processing the crime scene.

Anybody with information is asked to contact the Elkhart Police Department at 574-295-7070 or the Tip Line at 574-389-4777.

The Elkhart Police Department distributed an updated news release on Monday:

On Sunday July 31, 2016 at 11:14 PM officers were dispatched to 660 Strong Avenue in regards to a shooting with injuries. Officers arrived on scene and found three male victims, two victims were located inside the residence and one victim was located in the tree lawn.

Each of the victims had been shot and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

As officers began their investigation individuals started to arrive at the scene. Some of those individuals attempted to cross into the crime scene which police had established. As a result of those actions one individual was arrested for interfering with police. During the investigation some of the individuals who had gathered became disruptive. Additional officers were dispatched to the scene to assist with securing the integrity of the scene. During this time one individual was arrested for disorderly conduct.

The Elkhart Police Department respects the emotional impact that an incident like this causes on the family and friends of those involved. We will continue to work with those who have been affected and ask that they do the same with us. Ultimately we all have the same goal; bringing those responsible to justice.

At this point in the investigation it appears two armed men wearing masks forced entry into the residence and began shooting, eventually causing the death of the three individuals. There were three other adults and four children in the residence at the time of the shooting all where were physically uninjured. After shooting the individuals the suspects fled the area. The suspects appear to have targeted this residence and we do not believe this was a random act.

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office is anticipating the autopsies will be conducted on Tuesday August 2, 2016.

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