GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids police say they're frustrated by the lack of progress in their investigation into the Monday afternoon shooting of three teens near Hope Academy of West Michigan.
Police say they're still trying to nail down the basics in the case, including how many shooters there were and exactly where the shootings happened.
They blame the stymied investigation on the uncooperative witnesses and victims, two of whom are Hope Academy students.
"We're just in a dark cloud because of a lack of cooperation," said GRPD Capt. Curt VanderKooi. "I think they know a lot about what happened, and they just choose not to tell us."
A 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg and a 17-year-old male was shot in the back just after the southeast side school got out Monday. A 16-year-old male -- not a Hope Academy student -- was also found shot in the side on nearby Dickinson Street. All three survived.
Police believe the shooting followed a running dispute that had brought officers to the school before and say it could be related to an incident of shots fired not far from the school on Oct. 3.
"If they feel it necessary to carry weapons to verbal altercations, then it's more than just a random act," said VanderKooi.
GRPD provided increased patrols of the area in the week following that Oct. 3 incident and police say they have been called by the school to help quell frequent after-school problems.
In the last year, police have been called to Hope Academy 40 times, including for three assaults, and 15 times for "trouble with persons."
After Monday afternoon's shooting, GRPD has again increased patrols in the area.
"I wouldn't make any conclusions on the shooters or shooter in this case because we have no cooperation from the victims or any other witnesses that would clarify if we have a shooter or more than one shooter," said VanderKooi.
Court records show that one of the teen victims has been building a criminal history since age 14.
- November 18, 2009: Arrested and charged with assault and battery for an incident on Rosewood Avenue SE. He pleaded to a lesser count of creating a disturbance.
- June 12, 2010: Arrested and charged with refusing to obey orders of a police officer and trespassing for an incident on Ramona Street SE and Silver Creek Avenue SE. The refusing to obey charge was dismissed. He pleaded guilty to the trespassing charge.
- March 11, 2011: Arrested and charged with assault and battery for an incident on Rosewood Aveunue SE. The charge was dismissed, but he was removed from his home, made a ward of the court and remanded to the Highfields facility.
- May 4, 2011: Arrested and charged with one count of carrying a concealed weapon - semi-automatic handgun and one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. These charges stemmed from an incident on Fuller Avenue SE. The assaulting officer charged was dropped in a plea, but the concealed weapon was accepted and he was sent to juvenile detention.
- On July 14, 2011: Arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon - pistol and reckless use of a firearm for an incident on Scribner and Leonard.
Police are asking anyone with information to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Hope Academy of West Michigan is a Ferris State University charter school that serves 266 K-12 students. Calls for comment to the school, Ferris State and Hope Academy manager Integrity Educational Services of Grand Rapids were not returned Tuesday.
24 Hour News 8's Marc Thompson contributed to this report.
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