GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been a violent start to the new year as police investigate five separate shootings that killed one person and injured several others.
The first shooting was reported right after midnight Sunday. The Grand Rapids Police Department says officers were called to a crash near the intersection of Blaine Avenue SE and Boston Street SE around 12:01 a.m. There, they found a teenager with an apparent gunshot wound.
Police say first responders tried to save him, but the 16-year-old — who GRPD originally identified as an adult — died.
Police have not released his name. GRPD has not provided any information about a possible suspect and said the investigation is ongoing.
Bill Wiegant, who owns a business in the same area where the shooting happened, said he doesn’t personally feel unsafe in that neighborhood, but added after 5 p.m. certain activities tend to pick up.
“It’s not super uncommon to find cars parked that aren’t supposed to be here or trash,” Wiegandt said. “Fast cars driving through unnecessarily, sometimes there’s kind of some slow traffic that seems to be going nowhere.”
He added that there have been occasions where he’s seen shell casings in his parking lot. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of police in the area though, Wiegand said he sees them patrolling the area quite often.
“I think because it’s on the back end of an industrial area or it’s on the back end of commercial it’s a little mixed zone. You just get a little bit of a weird kind of nomad’s land and it’s just random stuff kind of happens,” he said.
Around 1:53 a.m., GRPD was called to another crash on S. Division Avenue at Rose Street SW. When officers got there, the driver told them he was heading south when he heard gunshots and his window broke, causing him to crash.
His passengers showed up at the hospital later. The two men said they had been shot but left before officers arrived at the scene. One was treated for a minor graze wound. The other wasn’t shot but had minor injuries from the crash. No suspects were arrested.
Another man showed up at the hospital several minutes later, around 2:01 a.m., with a gunshot wound that is not considered life-threatening, GRPD said. Police say the man wouldn’t give much information, aside from telling them it happened near Neland Avenue SE and Thomas Street.
Around 3:20 a.m., another man showed up at the hospital who had been shot multiple times, police say. They say he wouldn’t give police any information.
GRPD said the man is expected to survive.
The last shooting happened around 3:25 a.m. on Weston Street SW and S. Division Avenue. GRPD said two women got into a fight and one of them had a gun. During the fight, the gun went off, injuring the second woman in the face. The suspect was arrested and the victim is expected to survive.
Reports from GRPD show there was only one gun-related incident on New Year’s Day in 2020. In 2021 it jumped to 11 and last year there were four.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3380 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345 or silentobserver.org.