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BREAKING NEWS: Two ND students shot outside Club 23

Karen Langley | Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two Notre Dame seniors were shot early Tuesday morning outside the Club 23 bar on Notre Dame Avenue, following a verbal confrontation with the suspected shooter, police said.

The students, off-campus residents Matthew Collins and Mitchell Depree, are both in good condition, though wounds to Collins’ abdomen and leg were initially considered life threatening, said Capt. Phil Trent, a spokesperson for the South Bend Police Department.

After surgery at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Collins was expected to make a full recovery, Trent said. Depree was also taken to St. Joseph, where he was treated for a leg wound and then released, Trent said.

The suspect approached the two students around 1 a.m. while they stood on the sidewalk in front of the Club 23 entrance, Trent said.

Police do not know details of the confrontation, he said, other than that it involved “some sort of harsh words.”

The suspect – who police described as a short-haired black male of average build who wore a clean, white T-shirt – walked out of sight, Trent said. He reappeared a few moments later in the passenger seat of a sports utility vehicle that pulled up to the curb at Club 23, where Collins and Depree were waiting for a ride, Trent said.

The suspect then fired five shots from inside the car, two of which hit Collins and another that hit Depree, Trent said. The car’s driver then drove away northbound on Notre Dame Avenue, he said.

University officials were notified of the shooting before 2 a.m. Tuesday and became immediately involved, University spokesperson Dennis Brown said.

Associate Vice President for Residence Life and Housing Bill Kirk visited Collins and Depree at the hospital Tuesday morning, Brown said. Both Collins and Depree said they intend to enroll for the fall semester, he said.

Trent emphasized that police believe the shooting was a direct result of the confrontation.

“This is quite an uncommon occurrence,” Trent said. “We do not believe in any way, shape or form that this was random.”

Students are far more likely to be victims of property crime than violence, he said.

Seven South Bend Police cars responded to the scene, Trent said. Investigations into the shootings are ongoing, and no charges have been filed, Trent said. Police do not know whether the suspected shooter was inside Club 23 before the shooting, he said.

Police have asked anyone with information about the incident to contact the South Bend Police Department Investigative Division at (574) 235-9263.