Elkhart Police responded to an Eden Street address at around 7:44 p.m. for a report of a physical fight and shots being fired. A homeowner told officers that the people and vehicles involved had already left the area, but police found five-9mm shell casings on the road and in the dirt out front of the house.
A witness reported seeing seven men having an argument outside when two shots were fired by someone with a silver handgun, followed by another four or five shots in rapid succession.
Three of the men fled in a black Cadillac SUV, two men left in a black Saturn passenger car and two men drove off in another black passenger car.
Officers found several apparent bullet holes in the siding and front windows of a nearby Fetters Court house. Nobody was home at the time, but a black Mercedes C300 soon arrived with Suarez in the passenger seat.
The driver claimed that the bullet holes were old but Suarez pointed out new holes in the front of the house, according to police. Officers got permission to search the vehicle but didn’t find a firearm.
Minutes after the 911 call, police were contacted by several people who identified themselves as the ones who had been shot at. They said an argument over a stolen soccer ball had occurred earlier that day between Suarez and a 14-year-old boy, leading to the confrontation at the house.
The 14-year-old said the theft happened over a week ago so he was surprised when Suarez walked up and punched him in the face, according to police. Police say the boy’s father went to the Fetters Court address to try to talk to Suarez’s father about the incident.
The conversation escalated and Suarez allegedly got upset and said the man couldn’t come to his house and disrespect his family. Suarez then said, “I’ve got something for you,” got a black handgun out of his car and fired into the ground, police say.
He then allegedly screamed that he was crazy and would kill all of them. The other people fled in the Escalade and he allegedly fired five to seven rounds into the vehicle.
Police say the rear bumper was struck by four bullets and the rear passenger tire was shot flat.
Suarez told officers he was not present when the argument and shooting occurred. Police say they arrested him after he told an inconsistent story when trying to account for his whereabouts at the time.
While being questioned at the police department, Suarez eventually admitted he was at the Fetters Court address and had been in a fight with another soccer player days earlier, according to police. He allegedly said he was in a fight with an unknown, larger man and then the larger man shot at them from the vehicle.
Police say he didn’t admit to shooting at the Escalade but didn’t deny it when accused of doing so. They say he also had no explanation for how the bullet damage happened to the vehicle.