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UPDATE: Woman shot to death in Bishop Noll parking lot; principal issues statement to families

UPDATE: Woman shot to death in Bishop Noll parking lot; principal issues statement to families

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HAMMOND — A woman was fatally shot in the parking lot of Bishop Noll Institute while she was sitting inside a car, officials said.

Monica J. Mills, 43, of East Chicago, was transported to St. Catherine Hospital and pronounced dead about 11:05 p.m. Sunday, according to a Lake County coroner's office release.

The manner of Mills' death and nature of her injuries were listed as pending, though police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

Hammond police found Mills after responding about 10:20 p.m. to the school, at 1519 Hoffman St., for a report of a shooting, Lt. Steve Kellogg said.

Mills was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police took a person of interest into custody, Kellogg said.

"This is an isolated incident, and there is no danger to the public, students or school personnel," he said.

Bishop Noll Principal Lorenza Jara Pastrick said in a written statement to students and their families that the shooting poses no safety threat to anyone on campus.

"During the time of this incident, the school building was closed and no students or staff were present. The Hammond Police Department responded quickly to the scene. The Hammond Police Department has ensured us that our school is safe and this incident poses no threat to our students and staff. They also confirmed this incident was not connected to Bishop Noll in any way," she said.

"Our students’ safety will always be our top priority. We have added security around our campus as a precautionary measure. Our prayers and condolences go out to the victim and the victim's family."

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Anyone with more information is urged to contact Hammond police Detective Sgt. Adam Clark at 219-852-2987 or Detective Sgt. Shawn Ford at 219-852-2998.

This is a developing story. Check for updates as more information becomes available.

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