GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say a shooting in Gaines Township led to a police chase that ended with a stolen car crashing into a Grand Rapids home and eight juveniles being arrested.
According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, it all started around 9 p.m. Wednesday night when several bullets struck a house during a drive-by shooting on Campus Park Drive south of 60th Street SE. There were no reports of injuries.
Three vehicles were involved in the drive-by shooting, and up to 50 gunshots were fired, the sheriff’s office said. One of the vehicles was found along Campus Park Drive, and deputies discovered the other vehicles involved were stolen.
Around 3 a.m. Thursday, GRPD found two vehicles with people inside matching the descriptions of the stolen vehicles involved in the shooting parked at Normand Drive SE and Village Drive SE. A perimeter was set up, but when police tried to take the suspects into custody, both vehicles rammed into a GRPD cruiser in an attempt to get away, according to KCSO.
One of the vehicles, which had four juveniles inside, was able to get away and led police on a chase. Then around 4 a.m. crashed into a house at the intersection of Valley NW and Veto Street NW. After the crash, two suspects ran and the other two stayed at the scene. All four have been arrested, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Four other suspects were arrested at the scene of Normand Drive SE and Valley Drive SE. During the eight total arrests, multiple firearms and evidence of more felonies were found, according to KCSO.
Neighbors on the street where the shots were fired declined to go on camera but told News 8 that they heard multiple “firework” sounds that night before police arrived.
One resident said she had thought about moving due to the recent shootings. A woman was hospitalized back in July after a drive-by shooting on the same street.
KCSO Sgt. Eric Brunner said that vehicle thefts are increasing and have been over the past three years. He said that this is leading to other crimes being committed.
“Those stolen vehicles are used to steal other vehicles, to steal cellphones, guns. Whether it’s from a gun store, whether it’s from someone’s home or vehicle,” Brunner said. “If someone leaves a firearm behind, then that is how these firearms are on the streets now and then used to commit other crimes.”
With temperatures dropping over the coming weeks, Brunner says that there will be even more chances for potential thefts as many residents will leave their cars unattended as they warm them up in the mornings.
“Could we see an increase in stolen vehicles that are taken while they’re being warmed up out front? We absolutely could,” he said. “So we ask people to be mindful of that.”
Brunner did offer tips on how to help prevent these crimes from occurring including parking your car in a garage, locking all of the doors, keeping valuables locked up and taking firearms out of vehicles.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.