and Matt Getts

KENDALLVILLE — One person is dead and two more injured in a shooting that took place late Sunday night at Gallops gas station in Kendallville.

As of Monday, police were still searching for Matthew Rodriguez, who police described as the suspect. Rodriguez, 24, of Kendallville, is described as being about 5-foot-8 and 225 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He is known to drive a red Kia Forte with license plate AYW713.

“Until we know otherwise, I would consider him armed and dangerous,” Kendallville Police Chief Lance Waters said.

Just before midnight, Noble County 911 received a call from a person at the Gallops gas station, 1215 W. North St., reporting that there had been a shooting and multiple people were shot.

Police arrived on scene approximately three minutes after the call came in to find three victims, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release from the Kendallville Police Department sent just before 6 a.m. Monday. The other two victims were transported to area hospitals with injuries and police said those two are in “critical but stable condition.”

Waters said the victims ranged in age from 23-32 and were patrons of the store, not Gallops employees. Their identities will not be released until relatives have been notified.

At this point, police believe the shooting may have been a random act.

“At this time, we have no evidence these victims were targeted,” Waters said.

Mayor Suzanne Handshoe said Monday morning she was disturbed by the seemingly random act of violence occurring in the city.

“I’m quite troubled, emotionally quite troubled, that this happened randomly in our community to innocent people,” Handshoe said.

The victims were all shot inside the store with a hand gun, which was not recovered at the scene, Waters said.

On Monday morning, access to the gas station was shut off and both the service station and adjoining IHOP restaurant are closed.

Police erected road barriers at all of the entries off U.S. 6 to Gallops and yellow police tape had entries to the castle-themed building cordoned off.

Police were still on scene as of approximately 9 a.m. as investigation into the shooting continues. Kendallville police had extra officers patrolling.

Kendallville Police were assisted by officers from the Noble County Sheriff’s Department; Avilla, Ligonier, Albion and Rome City police departments; Indiana State Police; the Noble County Prosecutor’s Office; Kendallville Fire Department; and Parkview Noble County EMS.

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