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WVPE News

Elkhart County, Goshen officials give update following Saturday shooting

Becker.jpg
Gemma DiCarlo
/
WVPE News
Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker speaks at a press conference in Goshen on Monday, May 23.

Elkhart County and Goshen city officials held a press conference Monday evening following a weekend shooting that left two dead and three others injured.

According to a release, Goshen police responded to a reported shooting at a house on Rosemare Court Saturday afternoon.

One person was found dead at the scene, while four others were severely injured. Two were airlifted to Fort Wayne, one was taken to a hospital in South Bend and one was taken to Goshen Hospital, but later died.

On Monday, Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker said preliminary information indicates that the man taken to Goshen Hospital — identified as 20-year-old David Varela Morales — was the shooter.

Becker said the four victims of the attack were siblings, but gave no other information about the circumstances of the shooting.

“There will not be details at this point in time regarding the roles of any individuals involved in what occurred,” she said. “However, we can tell you — as we did on Saturday — that there is no further risk of additional individuals being injured.”

Sean Pounds, stepfather of the siblings, said the hospitalized victims were doing “well.”

“It’s going to take some time, but they are well — as well as can be at this point in time,” he said.

When asked by an audience member, Becker said the police had been called to the general area of Rosemare Court the night before the shooting, but no report was made. Goshen Police Chief Jose Miller said it was a “refusal to leave” call, but since the subject eventually left, a formal report was not filed.

Goshen officials say instances of violent crime in the city have risen recently, particularly shootings. Miller said the city has seen 19 acts of gun violence this year so far — five of which have resulted in injuries and four in deaths.

However, Miller said the city is “still a safe place.”

“I will say, a lot of these events are targeted. It’s not random acts against just somebody walking down the street,” he said. “The problem is, it’s targeted with innocent people in the wake. And that’s what’s scary, that’s what’s dangerous.”

Miller said the incident on Saturday does not appear to be gang-related, though officials say instances of gang activity have increased lately.

The Elkhart County Homicide Unit and Goshen Police Department are continuing to investigate Saturday’s shooting.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a memorial fund for the victim who died at the scene had raised over $16,000.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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