Man dead after officer-involved shooting near Coquillard Elementary School identified

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(Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC)

The St. Joseph County Police & Mishawaka Police Departments have been asked to investigate an officer involved shooting on Sheridan Street, near Coquillard Elementary School, in South Bend.

South Bend Police were dispatched around 11:40 a.m. on Friday, July 29, for a call by Coquillard school employees regarding a man with a handgun threatening suicide near the baseball fields.

South Bend Police responded to the call and made attempts to calm the individual.

Witness statements and video confirm that Dante Kittrell, 51, was making the threats to harm himself as he appeared to be waiving a handgun. Review of the body and in-car video indicate SBPD officers and critical incident negotiators attempted to de-escalate the situation and calm Kittrell for nearly 40 minutes. All efforts were unsuccessful. The videos capture Kittrell threatening to shoot multiple times before pointing the gun at officers. Members of the SBPD SWAT Team fired upon Kittrell. Kittrell was transported to Memorial Hospital where he later died.

The South Bend officers involved in the shooting have been fully cooperative. All SBPD body worn camera videos and in-car videos have been turned over as a part of the investigation. Investigators have been consulting with the St. Joseph Prosecutor’s Office in this matter.

Due to a large number of witnesses yet to be interviewed, witness interviews are expected to continue into mid-next week and the investigation remains on-going.

Sheriff Bill Redman provides the following statement: “At this time our investigators are conducting interviews of police officers and witnesses and reviewing all video footage of the incident. We do not know the exact details of the incident and I urge the community to provide our detectives with time to fully investigate all the facts. I also ask the community not to rush into any judgments until the investigation is complete.  Our departments will complete this investigation in a very timely manner and provide a thorough and transparent report to the public regarding the findings of our investigation.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. I hope the news does a follow up story on Mr. Kittrell’s toxicology report. Did he have some kind of drug or alcohol in his system. Pointing an object at the police and saying it’s a gun is definitely suicide.

  2. Hold the F on! This was one man, in a park, with a gun and wanting to kill himself. Yet, the entire South Bend Police Department had the entire area surrounded and the potential threat under total control as it related to public safety? Are we to assume that after 40 minutes that the man, in a par4k, with no one else around, who wanted to kill HIMSELF, suddenly posed such a threat to the public that a SWAT team had to drive in an armored vehicle and shoot to death this troubled man? And while Ill ALWAYS support our first responders….I stand with those who say people who look different from those who enforce our laws need to change as they are failing.

  3. How much time do you need for “moderation” of my post made at 14:16? At this point, the post you have left, since 8:16 AM, may be insinuating that the person, shot and killed by police, may have been under some influence. My reply was not irrational…but true to the facts, as known, from news and including your accounts. Why do you want to foster ambiguity?

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