MUNCIE, Ind. — Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour, along with officials from the Muncie Police Department, provided an update Monday on an early Sunday morning shooting that shook the community to its core.
According to previous reports, the shooting, which caused the death of one man and left more than a dozen individuals injured, occurred around 1:14 a.m. Sunday in the area of S. Hackley St. and E. Willard St. One man, identified by the Delaware County coroner as 30-year-old Joseph Bonner who was an attendee of the party, died after the shooting and a number of others were reported as injured.
“On Sunday morning, our community was shaken to the core by violence. One man was fatally injured and 17 more sustained injuries from gunshots,” Ridenour said while overcome by emotion during Monday’s update. “The words cannot express our deep grief and sympathy for the families of those involved (and the community at large).”
Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan said that a party on Saturday night, going into Sunday morning, became out of control when shots were fired. Eight agencies responded to the incident Sunday, including a number of SWAT teams.
Muncie Police Department Deputy Chief Melissa Criswell said that 18 individuals had gun-related injuries and one other person was injured because of “vehicular contact” after Sunday’s incident. As of Monday, Criswell said four individuals were transferred to Indianapolis hospitals after the incident, one of whom has since been released. One of the individuals remains in critical condition.
Sloan said that the department does not believe it was one person targeting the gathering, which the department estimated at around 500 to 1,000 people. No one has been arrested in relation to the incident as of this story’s publication.
Sloan said the department is investigating if multiple people fired shots during the incident. Sloan also provided details on the overall crime scene, which had a large amount of evidence, including reported shell casings and alcohol. When asked to comment further on specifics, Sloan said he could not, because of the ongoing investigation.
“We are on top of the situation,” he said, “but we have to maintain the integrity of the investigation.”
Ridenour said that as the investigation continues, there will be “swift action” to bring relief to the victims, their families as well as the community at large, including available mental health resources. Ridenour also said that the city is working with faith leaders to help start a donation fund for the victims and that a prayer vigil will be hosted at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Berea Church in Muncie.
On Tuesday, officials with the city of Muncie announced that a relief fund has been set up through the Concerned Clergy of Muncie. According to a news release from the city, checks can be made out to the Concerned Clergy of Muncie with “Relief Fund” on the memo line, and sent to PO Box 4174, Muncie, IN 47307. Electronic donations can be made through Cash App via a QR code.
Officials also said that the city is working with Meridian Health Services and Open Door Health Services to coordinate mental health resources to families of the victims. This includes free sessions with trauma therapists through Open Door.
“Due to limited staff capacity, these services are reserved for victims, their families, and immediate witnesses of the violence on Sunday morning,” the announcement read. “For more information, the public can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to access services.”
While he does not know what led to the violence on Sunday morning, Ridenour said action needs to be taken against uncoordinated mass gatherings after midnight.
“I’m shaken,” he said. “Our officers and first responders are shaken. Our citizens are shaken.”
The Muncie Police Department is asking for people who were at the party to come forward and help with the department’s investigation, specifically individuals who may have photos or videos of what happened. The department said there is no threat to the community and that the department is just attempting to gather information.
Anyone with information should call the investigation division at (765) 747-4867.