Police identify suspect in Goshen police-involved shooting

GOSHEN – Police have identified the man killed in Wednesday’s police-involved shooting in Goshen.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Alcaraz, 19, of Bristol.

He died at the scene.

Police say they recovered the suspect’s shotgun at the scene.

EARLIER:

One person is dead and another injured after a police-involved shooting Wednesday morning in Goshen.

On Thursday afternoon, the injured bystander was identified as 68-year-old Fernando Cuevas of Goshen.

At around 9:30 a.m., a man reportedly tried to carjack or abduct two or three people near the BP gas station at US 33 and Kercher Road. At least two shots were fired in the area, according to Trent Smith with the Indiana State Police.

Police were called and the suspect fled the scene, but not before trying to steal another person’s car at a nearby intersection.

Police allegedly chased the suspect down Lincolnway, where he pulled into the Double D’s Hometown Bar & Grill parking lot. Police then shot and killed the suspect, whose name has not yet been released.

An autopsy will be performed Thursday. The man’s name will be released once police contact his family.

“One thing we do obviously know is police fired,” Smith explained. “We’re not sure who fired first, if the other individual even fired, or how many rounds he fired. We have a multitude of shell casings out there, and all that stuff will get sorted out in the investigation.”

The owner of Double D’s was inside the bar at the time of the shooting.

“I was here getting ready to go to meetings and I heard a noise outside,” Dennis McCarthy, owner of Double D’s Hometown Bar & Grill, said. “At first I didn’t really recognize what it was. I went outside to find out and realized what was going on, and they hollered for us to get back in the building, stayed in here until they told us we could get out, let us back in around 4 o’clock.”

Police don’t believe there are any other suspects.

Cuevas was in the Double D’s parking lot at the time and was shot in the back of his shoulder. Police have not determined who shot him. As of Thursday afternoon, he is in stable condition.

No officers were injured.

“Anytime somebody gets killed or hurt it’s a tragedy,” McCarthy said. “I’m sorry it happened. Authorities did what they had to do and took care of the situation before it got any worse. Thank them for taking care of it. Sorry it ended here, but it had to end somewhere. I’m just glad it got taken care of before somebody else got hurt.”

Police taped off the area around Double D’s Hometown Bar & Grill. The stretch of Lincolnway E. outside the restaurant was also closed to traffic until about 3:30 p.m.

“I can tell you I’ve been to the different crime scenes, and there are dozens of people that have witnessed this that are being interviewed by state police, by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, by Goshen, by Elkhart City Metro Homicide,” Smith said. “It’s a multi-agency operation all coming together because we’re spread out all over the place, as well as obviously talking to the other individual at the hospital. It’s going to be a big investigation that’s going to take some time to sort out and talk with everybody, and there’s just a lot of stuff we have to gather first.”

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is underway, as is customary in a situation like this. Smith says they will be interviewed, but not for at least two days. They will be identified on Friday.

We’ll continue to update this story as additional information becomes available.

From the Goshen Police Department at 1:36 p.m.:

On April 5th, 2017 at 9:27 AM, officers with the Goshen Police Department were dispatched to the area of the BP gas station on the corner of US 33 (Lincolnway East) and County Road 38 (Kercher Road) in reference to a report of shots fired at that location.

Officers were quickly on scene and in pursuit of the fleeing suspect who left the BP in a Dodge Durango. Officers pursued the suspect westbound on County Road 38 turning south onto Sourwood. They continued from Sourwood onto the Lippert property and back onto Lincolnway East (US 33) heading northbound. The pursuit continued northbound until reaching the intersection of Plymouth and Lincolnway East (US 33) at which time the suspect vehicle was driven into the parking lot of 827 Lincolnway East (Double D’s Bar and Grill) and stopped.

During the encounter after the vehicle had stopped, GPD officers discharged their weapons. Two individuals have been injured, one of which is deceased and the other was transported to the Goshen Hospital for treatment of their injuries. No law enforcement officer was injured during this incident. There is no longer any threat or danger to the public. There are multiple locations at which gunfire occurred during the course of this incident.

As is procedure, the Indiana State Police is leading the investigation of the incident. Per department policy, officers involved in the incident will be placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation. No additional information will be released from our department in reference to the investigation.

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