18-year-old charged with murder in shooting death of 11-year-old T'yon Horston
Officials in South Bend have charged a teenage boy with murder in connection to the shooting death of 11-year-old T'yon Horston.
On Friday, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office formally charged 18-year-old Dominick Williams Jr. with killing T'yon in a drive-by shooting that sparked calls from officials and community members for a stop to the city's gun violence.
Williams has not been arrested and remains at large as of Friday afternoon. The 18-year-old is charged with murder and a firearm enhancement that could see him spend anywhere from 50 to 85 years in prison if convicted.
T'yon was killed in the evening of April 20 when South Bend police officers responded to a call of shots fired in the area of 600 North Johnson Street on the city's west side. Arriving officers found T'yon shot and took him to the hospital, where he later died.
According to court documents filed Friday, witnesses told police they saw two figures firing shots in the area of 600 North Johnson Street when T'yon was killed. One of the figures, who police believe is Williams, fired shots from an alley across the street from where T'yon was found, per witnesses.
The documents allege Williams was dressed in all-black and drove off north in a white Dodge Charger on Johnson Street when the other person, who was dressed in red, returned fire. Other witnesses then told police the Charger broke down in the 2100 block of North Johnson Street and the person dressed in black ran from the car carrying several firearms, including a rifle. The figure was picked up by another car, documents say.
The Dodge Charger had been reported stolen out of Indianapolis and documents say the car's owner told investigators that Williams had been the one in possession of the car when it went missing. Detectives also says Williams' cell phone was in the area of the shooting when it occurred and in the area of 2100 North Johnson Street a few minutes later.
City leaders held a press conference at the site near where T'yon was killed the day afterword and called for a stop to violence.
“It’s not one person’s job to stop it,” said Gladys Muhammad, a longtime community activist and member of the South Bend Heritage Foundation, on April 21. “These are our kids and they’re dying. And they’re shooting each other and we have to figure out how to stop it.”
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski told reporters on Thursday that detectives served numerous warrants and had interviewed a number of people about the shooting. Though South Bend reported 10 fewer shooting victims through the first part of 2023, he said T'yon's death continues to weigh heavily on him.
“Even though we do have less victims, when you have an 11-year-old involved in a homicide, it feels like 111 other people,” Ruszkowski said.
Police ask anyone with information as to William's location to call Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP or 911.