Two fatal shootings on the same block in northwest Indiana in less than 24 hours are believed to be gang-related, according to Hammond police.
About 11:30 p.m. Sunday, 23-year-old Robert Vilella was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds in the 5500 block of Beall Avenue in Hammond, authorities said.
Vilella, who lived in the 800 block of Indiana Street in Hammond, was taken to Franciscan St. Margaret Health, where he was pronounced dead at 12:05 a.m., authorities said.
Police said the shooting was sparked by an argument following a minor crash. A 17-year-old by was driving when he bumped a parked car, police said.
The teen spoke to the owner of the parked car and they resolved the crash without a police report. Several people nearby took an interest in the crash and at least one asked the teen and his two passengers what gang they were affiliated with, police said. Shots were fired and Vilella was struck.
The next night, a police officer saw a man spray paint the street near a memorial for Vilella at 5:30 p.m., police said. The graffiti was gang-related and the man was arrested for criminal mischief.
Twohours later, about 20 people were gathered around the memorial when shots rang out again, police said.
Lauren Calvillo, 16, was standing on her front porch nearby and was “innocently struck,” police said. She was pronounced dead at St. Margaret’s at 8:02 p.m., authorities said.
Before she was shot Monday night, Calvillo had posted on Facebook, “Last night was the worst r.i.p. Bobby.”
A 22-year-old man was also shot and was recovering from his wounds Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Police said the shootings are thought to be gang-related.