Police say the man suspected of shooting and killing two others on South Bend's Northwest side Sunday morning is 29-year-old Brandon Biffle. And this isn’t the first time the suspect has been accused of murder.
A press release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s spokeswoman Lora Bentley identified 53-year-old Johnnie Avance as the man who was found shot dead inside his home at 1617 Olive St. His neighbor, Donald Paris Sr. was found shot to death in his driveway across the street at 1618 Olive.
Anna Paris recounted the horrific scene she witnessed in front of her home just 24 hours earlier.
“I look down and I see my husband lying there, motionless, in his own blood,” she said, sobbing. “And I look across the street and I see the guy who took his life standing there. Just standing there, not with a care at all for about what he did to my husband, to my family.”
Paris said she went outside after she heard popping noises she thought were fireworks just before 10 a.m. Sunday. Her husband, Donald Paris Sr. had been out for a walk with the family dog, Scooby.
“He wouldn’t do anything like this to anybody. He didn’t bring this on,” she said, crying. “The [suspect] didn’t want him to identify who shot the man across the street.”
Paris believes the suspect shot and killed her husband so he would not leave any witnesses behind.
Investigators said Biffle first shot and killed Avance, then went outside and took aim across the street at Paris Sr. One witness told WSBT she heard at least 14 gunshots before police got there.
Orange and green spray paint detailed the crime scene. Some marks showed where two of the first arriving officers parked when they got on scene. Others detailed where some of the spent shell casings ended up after officers fired at the suspect they said fired at them first.
Police seriously injured Biffle, who was taken into surgery at Memorial Hospital. No officers were injured.
“People are ugly. He took something I can’t replace. That’s my dad,” said Julie Brooks, as she stood next to a pick-up truck with a bullet hole through the tailgate in her parent’s driveway.
Neighbors said they’re shaken and scared. And Paris said she has no choice but to move out.
“To have it happen and affect you like this, I can't stay here,” she said.
The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit continues to investigate. Autopsies for both Avance and Paris Sr. are scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday.
There was no word on the suspect’s condition. Bentley said he’d been arrested on an outstanding warrant from Marion County.
Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett told reporters Sunday investigators were confident they had the right suspect.