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Hero Down: St. Joseph County Correctional Officer Rhema Harris Murdered In Drive-By Shooting

Mishawaka, IN – St. Joseph County Police Department (SJCPD) Correctional Officer Rhema Harris was murdered in a drive-by shooting on Sunday.

The 28-year-old correctional officer was in the backyard of a residence located in the 1900-block of Milburn Boulevard at approximately 6 p.m. on June 26 when a gunman in a silver car opened fire from an alley, the South Bend Tribune reported.

Investigators said at least five people, some of whom were children, were at the house when the shooting occurred, according to WNDU.

Correctional Officer Harris was shot in the chest.

“As a result of her injury, Rhema was pronounced dead at a local hospital,” St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman said in a press release, according to WNDU.

Police said they have detained at least two people of interest and that they are questioning them, but no arrests were immediately made.

The Mishawaka Police Department (MPD) is handling the ongoing investigation into Correctional Officer Harris’ murder.

MPD Detective Bureau Division Chief Dan Gebo said the shooting is believed to be retaliation tied to an ongoing feud, but stressed that Correctional Officer Harris was not the target of the attack, ABC News reported.

Chief Gebo said she was simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Sheriff Redman asked that “everyone please keep Rhema Harris, her family and her correctional officer family in your thoughts and prayers,” WNDU reported.

Correctional Officer Harris served in the U.S. Army prior to joining the SJCPD on July 12, 2021.

She was assigned to midnight shift at the jail, and was testing to become a sworn officer with the SJCPD.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of St. Joseph County Police Department Correctional Officer Rhema Harris, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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