Shootings caught on camera, spark fear in SE Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police say they are responding to multiple shots fired calls virtually every night.

In a year where homicide deaths have spiked in the city, it has caused widespread concern.

But the angst might be more intense for the residents who live on Bates Street SE than many other places in Grand Rapids.

Residents say they’ve dealt with several shootings on their street over the past few weeks.

Ted Brown was able to catch some of them on his surveillance cameras.

“The last shooting there was like 38 casings,” Brown told News 8.

Brown is fixing up a home near Bates Street and Eastern Avenue and planning to move in soon.

“It’s alarming when you hear more than five, six, seven in a row,” Brown said. “Kind of reminds you of maybe like a war going on or something.”

Brown hasn’t been home for any of the shooting incidents to see them firsthand. But his neighbor Greg Cook has.

Cook said he was making lunch for his daughter one afternoon when he heard the sound of gunfire.

“I knew instantly that it was gunfire and I had to tell her to get on the ground. As soon as we hit the floor is when a round came through our window. If she would’ve been sitting in the chair, it would have missed her head by about two foot,” Cook said. “It was something I never thought I would have to do.”

Grand Rapids police say they are taking the shootings seriously and making arrest in many of the most serious cases. Officials said 17 of the city’s 23 homicides had been solved as of mid-September.

On Bates Street, neighbors said the shootings are also taking an economic toll. Some new neighbors have decided to move away because of the violence.

“(A neighbor) moved in in March and (another) moved in in April and they’re on their way out,” Michelle Allen said.

Allen and her husband Troy, known as Troy Shalom, are pastors who say they are committed to the community despite the violence.

“At some point in life, people have to evolve and they have to become better and they have to make wiser choices, and I just try to be that light to people,” Troy Allen said.

While a number of homes have been damaged by gunfire, none of the neighbors have been injured.

Homeowners hope it stays that way and the violence stops.

“I hope it’s just a bunch of stupid stuff that’s going to pass,” Cook said.

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