No arrest after shots fired near pool, witnesses uncooperative

Local News

EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — Gunshots interrupted a peaceful afternoon near Rochelle-Landers pool.

Officers responded to a “shots fired call” near the pool, and one Jeep was hit.

No one was hurt thanks to some quick thinking lifeguards, but police say because of a very common problem, there are no suspects in custody.

“No one, no parent sends their kids to a swimming pool expecting something like that to happen in the vicinity of it,” said EPD Officer Phil Smith.

Just like every other day here, kids laughed, and swam; kept safe under the watchful eye of lifeguards nearby. But all that changed unexpectedly.

“It’s more than just making sure people are safe in the water,” Parks and Rec Executive Director Brian Holtz says of the lifeguards who work there.

When gunshots interrupted playtime by the pool, they jumped into action.

“Immediately, they went into what we call ‘lock-down mode.'”

“Those lifeguards did a great job by getting those kids to cover,” said Smith.

All of a sudden, life guards had to rely on a different kind of life-saving training.

“They got all the swimmers out of the pool and into a secure facility,” said Holtz. “And then locked the facilities so no one was able to enter or leave.”

While swimmers took shelter, police worked nearby, focusing on several teenagers leaving the scene.

“Officers stopped and detained several of the young people involved.”

That could be where the case ended, but it isn’t, thanks to a common problem police face with investigations like these.

“There’s some kind of artificial imaginary street code,” says Smith. “They wanna not snitch.”

Police say that leaves them with evidence of a crime, but no information about who did it.

“It doesn’t really affect them until they themseles or a loved one are victims of a crime. Then they want crime solved.”

With nothing to go on, a day at the pool is now business as usual, and the pool resumed regular operation.

“Police gave the all clear.”

All clear, except for cases like this, which can’t be solved without a witness.

“It’s unfortunate that some young people in our community are taking part in activities that could bring harm to themselves and others.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact EPD detectives at (812) 436-7979.

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(This story was originally published on July 17, 2019)

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