Man killed in officer-involved shooting near Coquillard Elementary School identified
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Update: Police have identified the man killed in an officer-involved shooting after apparently threatening suicide.
It happened in the 1200 block of North Sheridan Street in South Bend by the baseball fields near Coquillard Elementary School.
According to the St. Joseph County Police Department, the man who officers shot has been identified as Dante Kittrell, 51. Witness statements and video confirm that Kittrell was threatening suicide as he waved a handgun.
“We were standing pretty far back because we didn’t want to get too close because we noticed it from one of the side streets over there,” said Brianna Johnson, a resident. “The cops were pulling and they jumped out of their cars with rifles and then they started taping off the streets so we were thinking something happened.”
“They even brought SWAT in on him and that was pretty much when it happened,” Johnson said.
Police tell us that 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 and that all efforts were unsuccessful.
“So when I drove up, the young man was walking in the field, walking back and forth to my left and I was trying to calm him down,” said Pastor James B. Williams, a South Bend resident.
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 young man was going back and forth,” Williams explained. “He appeared to have a weapon raised above his head. I didn’t see him lower it, but the wagon came down after a long period of time of negotiating, and when the wagon came down, it was an armored wagon, I heard the gunshots.”
This continues as an on-going investigation and no final determinations have been made at this time.
“It’s very unfortunate that it had to end like this,” Williams finished.
On Friday night, St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman added to his previous statement:
The St. Joseph County Police Department and the Mishawaka Police Department have been asked to investigate a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened Friday afternoon near Coquillard Elementary School in South Bend.
South Bend Police were called by Coquillard school employees just before 11:40 a.m. regarding a male with a handgun who was threatening suicide near the baseball fields. South Bend Police made attempts to calm him down, but gunshots were fired around 12:30 p.m.
The male was immediately taken by ambulance from the scene, but police say he died a short time later.
Pursuant to protocol, the St. Joseph County Police Department and Mishawaka Police detective bureaus are investigating this officer-involved shooting and will report all findings to the county prosecutor.
St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman released the following statement regarding the officer-involved shooting:
Police say information on the victim will be released later.
Below is witness footage from Brianna Johnson of the scene. **Viewer discretion is advised when viewing the clip**
Stay with 16 News Now as we continue to learn more about this developing story.
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