2 teens arrested in drive-by killing of northern Indiana woman, 28

Two teenage boys have been arrested in a June drive-by shooting that sent bullets flying into a northern Indiana home, killing a woman who was one of several people inside.

St. Joseph County prosecutors announced Tuesday that Braxton Bird, 17, of South Bend had been charged with murder, attempted murder and criminal recklessness in Rhema Harris’ death.

Harris, 28, had worked as a corrections officer at the St. Joseph County Jail since 2021. She was fatally wounded June 26 when shots were fired into a Mishawaka home.

Bird has been charged as an adult in her killing. Indiana law specifies that any individual at least 16 years of age will be charged as an adult if they are accused of committing certain felonies, including murder and attempted murder.

Online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on Bird’s behalf.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested last week for his role in Harris’ killing. Prosecutors plan to seek to also charge him as an adult. It wasn’t immediately clear what charges he could face.

Witnesses told police the two teens were riding in a car with three other juveniles when they shot at the back of a home, intending to strike a teenage girl who lived there and whom Bird was mad at.

One of the bullets instead struck Harris, who was among at least five people, including children, inside the home.

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