Double homicide suspect turns himself in to South Bend police

A July 21, 2017 photo of double murder suspect Michael Patton being transported by police.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WOOD) — A double homicide suspect wanted in Michigan turned himself in at a grocery store in South Bend after a 12-hour time frame as a wanted man.

Police said 32-year-old Zachary Michael Patten fled to South Bend before he was taken into custody.

Police said he shot and killed two people Thursday night in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties before leading them on a manhunt that stretched out for miles.

It was in front of a grocery store in South Bend, Indiana, where it all ended. Two police officers were leaving Martin’s late Friday morning after checking on an unrelated call.

“There was a gentleman sitting on the bench,” said South Bend Police Department Det. Chris Kronewitter. “The gentleman stood up, walked over to them and said that he needed to be arrested.”

With that, the manhunt was over.

The officer asked why Patten needed to be arrested.

“He made mentioned of having shot two people in Michigan,” Kronewitter said.

The two South Bend police officers verified Patten was wanted in Michigan and arrested him. Kronewitter said Patten agreed to talk with Michigan investigators, who drove to South Bend to interview him.

“He was very calm, very cooperative,” said Kronewitter. “It seemed as if he was ready to get his story off of his chest.”

Police took Patten to the St. Joseph County jail South Bend.

As it turns out, police unknowingly spoke with the suspected murderer in South Bend Thursday night, before Patten turned himself in to authorities. Patten was taken to the hospital after he crashed his car somewhere in South Bend.

Kronewitter said officers thought Patten was intoxicated.

Patten was treated and released from the hospital.

“Where he was between the time he got out of the hospital until he was over at Martin’s we don’t know,” Kronewitter said.

Kronewitter said he believes the interview with Michigan investigators went well.