Teen accused of shooting near school bus ordered to DOC facility

  • In US
  • 2022-10-03 09:13:41Z
  • By South Bend Tribune
A student accused of a shooting near a South Bend School bus on Aug.
A student accused of a shooting near a South Bend School bus on Aug.  

SOUTH BEND - A South Bend high schooler, who was arrested in August for allegedly firing shots near a group of students after being dropped off by a school bus, will be sent to a juvenile facility with the Indiana Department of Corrections.

The disposition order issued by St. Joseph Probate Court Magistrate Graham Polando will take the student away from his family after the 16-year-old admitted to illegal possession of a firearm in a deal with prosecutors.

"Reasonable efforts" were made to rehabilitate the 16-year-old student without taking him out of his home environment, Polando wrote in his order this week. However, the boy "continues to engage in aggressive and/or violent behavior" and had previously committed a similar offense in Lake County, the magistrate added.

"Further attempts at less restrictive placements would be inconsistent with [the] community's (and this young man's own) safety," the order read.

The Tribune is not naming the child as his case was handled in juvenile, or probate, court.

Gun found at Washington HS:Criminal charges filed after handgun found at Washington High School

The shooting and following arrest

The incident occurred near the intersection of Huey and Bulla streets on Aug. 17, which was the first day of classes for the South Bend school district. Officers were called to the area a little after 4 p.m. for reports of gunfire, according to South Bend police. Witnesses near the scene told police that a South Bend school bus had dropped off a group of students shortly before shots were heard and that one juvenile was seen with a gun.

It is unclear what sparked the shooting. School district officials said in a statement at the time no weapons were present on the school bus itself.

The boy was arrested shortly after the incident and charged in juvenile court with criminal recklessness and dangerous possession of a firearm. The state did not seek to move the student's case to adult, or superior, court "as the relevant statute requires to prove that a juvenile is beyond rehabilitation of the juvenile system," a prosecutor's office spokesman told The Tribune.

The student admitted to dangerous possession of a firearm and prosecutors dismissed the criminal recklessness charge.

The state's Department of Corrections will now determine where and for how long the boy should remain in detention. Once he completes his sentence in a secure juvenile facility, he will be required to complete a community transition program and be ordered to house arrest.

More on the incident:South Bend police, schools investigate gunshots on district school bus

String of incidents involving students and guns

The August shooting was first of a handful of recent incidents involving South Bend students being arrested for incidents involving firearms. On Sept. 20, a gunshot was reported on a bus taking Jackson Middle School students home from classes. A 13-year-old student was arrested and is accused in juvenile court of criminal recklessness, illegal possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm on a school bus.

Later that same week, staff at Washington High School found a gun in a student's backpack after breaking up a fight between two boys. That 16-year-old is charged in adult court with felony possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Email Tribune staff writer Marek Mazurek at mmazurek@sbtinfo.com.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: DOC detention ordered for teen accused of shooting near school bus


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