Police: Man shot in drive-by as GR violence continues

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man injured when shots rang out in Grand Rapids’ Baxter neighborhood Monday morning, police say.

It happened around 9:40 a.m. at the intersection of Diamond Avenue and Logan Street SE. The Grand Rapids Police Department said the man was walking down the street when a car drove up and someone inside fired at least five shots.

The man was shot in the stomach and rushed to the hospital. Police said his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

While the man’s name wasn’t released, police said he is in his mid-50s.

One bullet hit a passing vehicle. Tom DeJonge, a delivery driver, was behind the wheel.

“Very loud. I never heard nothing quite like it,” he described the sound of the shooting. “I heard a big bang. I didn’t know what happened. And when I got to my next delivery, I walked around the truck and found the bullet hole.”

Three of the bullets fired hit a nearby home, which had kids inside.

“Sometimes we’re only millimeters away from a larger tragedy,” GRPD Sgt. Dan Adams said.

His department has seen a lot of tragedy this year. There have been 26 homicides in Grand Rapids this year, including three since Friday. That makes this year one of Grand Rapids’ deadliest ever. The last time it was this bad, there was a crack war going on between street gangs.

This time, the reason for the spike in violence isn’t so clear.

“Motive is always one of those things that difficult to nail down,” Adams said.

GRPD says it has been overwhelmed with trying to find the shooters and make arrests. Seventeen of the homicides have been solved, GRPD said, but new ones continue to pop up. Trying to change the trend, it amped up patrols the weekend before last.

“We need to make these individuals understand that it’s not worth the risk,” Adams said.

The vehicle involved in the Monday drive-by was described only as a white, four-door car. Anyone with information about the drive-by or any other crime is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

“Someone has got to point us in the right direction or we are not going to get to where we want to be,” Adams said.

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