GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two of a total of eight people believed to have been involved in a shootout after a graduation ceremony at East Kentwood High School were formally charged Monday.
Shaakir Abdulwahab and Jacqui Hill, both 18, were each arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon in a weapon-free school zone. The judge said the weapons were handguns. Those charges are five-year felonies. Not guilty pleas were entered for both men.
During the arraignment, which took place via Zoom, Judge Sara Smolenski said the charges are being treated as “extremely violent criminal offenses,” though she noted the investigation is ongoing.
Abdulwahab told the judge he lives with his parents, is about to graduate from virtual high school and has a job at a local McDonald’s. He indicated he is on probation for a previous crime committed as a juvenile.
Hill said he lives with his grandmother, will graduate from a virtual high school next month and has a full-time job at a local plant.
Bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety for each man. If the men post bond and are released, they must wear electronic tethers and stay away from Kentwood Public Schools properties. Both are expected back in court June 6 and June 13 for hearings.
Abdulwahab and Hill were arrested after being stopped by investigators in Livonia on Friday.
Authorities say they are among five suspects in the shooting who are seen in surveillance images released Monday by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone who can identify or has information about any of the people in the photos, or anyone with any information about the shooting, is asked to call detectives at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
The shooting happened around 7:20 p.m. Thursday in the East Kentwood High School parking lot after the Crossroads Alternative High School graduation. Authorities say a group of people in a Hyundai pulled up and opened fire on another group. That group returned fire, then took off in a Mercedes. Last week, the sheriff said “many, many, many” shots were fired.
Two people were injured in the exchange of gunfire: a 16-year-old from Texas, who sustained a gunshot wound to the wrist; and a 40-year-old woman who was shot in the wrist and abdomen. She remained in the hospital Monday.
Deputies told News 8 it was a “miracle that more people were not struck” by bullets. About 400 people were around at the time to celebrate the graduation of about 75 students. Bystanders told News 8 they ducked for cover as the gun battle played out, recalling a strong smell of gunsmoke and being afraid to open their eyes for fear of what they would see.
Documents filed with the court indicate that Abdulwahab and Hill both arrived at the school in the Mercedes and that both attended the graduation ceremony. Hill was the driver of the Mercedes, the documents say.
Investigators are also looking for three more suspects who were in the Hyundai.
Deputies are asking anyone who has any pictures or videos of the shooting to submit them online to aid in the investigation.
—News 8’s Jacqueline Francis contributed to this report.