Man's Wallet
Police Respond To Shooting At St. Louis High School PIXABAY

A man reportedly shot and killed his friend's roommate after a fight over a misplaced wallet in South Bend, Indiana on Friday, Nov. 11.

The victim, identified as 24-year-old Lawrence Witzke, was caught in the crossfire between his roommate and the accused Mikail Martinez, 23, and was killed near the 1300 block of Vassar Avenue in South Bend at around 2 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11 morning. The officers who were patrolling the area heard gunshots, and after a brief chase, arrested Martinez, and charged him with murder, battery, and resisting arrest. A man who was with Martinez during the altercation and shooting has been charged with assisting a criminal in connection with the incident, South Bend Tribune reported.

Martinez and Witzke's roommate, who were old coworkers, had been out at a bar the night of the shooting. While they were hanging out at the bar, Martinez left to go to a different establishment but forgot his wallet. The roommate saw the wallet and kept the wallet with him. When Martinez realized it was missing, he contacted his friend and the man gave Martinez his address so he could pick it up at the end of the night.

When Martinez arrived at the house on Vassar Avenue, he was handed his wallet. However, Martinez noticed that the credit cards were missing from the wallet. Following this, Witzke's roommate checked the car he left the bar in, and found the cards in a small stack on the seat. When he handed the cards to Martinez, Martinez allegedly punched him "very hard in the head, knocking him down and disorienting him," WNDU reported.

Seeing the dispute unfold, Witzke and another roommate came out to help their roommate who had been attacked. The trio then told Martinez to leave. However, Martinez refused and again tried to punch the man he had been out with. As the argument escalated, Martinez pulled out a gun and fired several shots, hitting Witzke.

Officers who were patrolling in the area heard the gunshots and responded to the scene. They found Witzke bleeding on his porch and took the 24-year-old to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The roommates told the officers that Martinez had driven off with another man in a blue PT Cruiser. Meanwhile, officers working in the South Bend Police Headquarters heard tires squealing just north of the station and saw that the blue PT Cruiser car had gotten stuck in a construction fence as it attempted to turn onto United Drive.

As officers approached the vehicle, Martinez's accomplice complied with commands and was arrested. However, Martinez got out, scaled the fence, tried to run away, and was arrested after a "short foot pursuit."

A handgun was found in the PT Cruiser. The caliber of the handgun matched the shell casings fired at the scene of the shooting.

If convicted of the charges against him, Martinez could spend anywhere from 50 to 85 years in prison. Meanwhile, his alleged accomplice could see anywhere between one and six years.

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