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Shooting at Block Party in Muncie


MUNCIE, Ind. — As police continue to investigate what happened the night of a mass shooting in Muncie that left a man dead and 17 others wounded, the police chief in Muncie believes that some of the blame for the shooting should rest on the shoulders of the host of the block party where the shooting happened.

“In my opinion, I believe there is a responsibility in that aspect,” said Muncie police chief Nathan Sloan. “We did make an initial phone call. We asked that the party be shut down. It was not shut down. Then we tried to call several other times and he refused to take our call.”

Police say it was at that block party where Joseph Bonner III was shot and killed by John Lamar Vance. Investigators say Vance targeted Bonner as the two had been in a long-time feud. 17 other people were hurt in the gunfire.

Sloan said that that party did have a public permit, but only for up to 75 people. A lot more than that showed up.

“Everyone was enjoying themselves and having a good time,” Ashley Erby said to WISH-TV. She was at the party and called the shooting “scary” when it happened.

“I don’t feel like it’s the organizer’s fault,” said Nette Gudger, who also attended the party. “I don’t think he could control how many people showed up.”

Nevertheless, the Delaware County prosecutor is looking into possibly filing charges against the party’s host.

Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour said that the situation highlights a need for a change in city policy that should allow the police more freedom to shut down and disperse crowds that have the potential to become unruly. Right now, police can only issue tickets for groups exceeding those that a permit allows.