ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A shot was fired into the ceiling and some people sustained minor injuries when a fight broke out at a metro Grand Rapids venue on Saturday night, deputies say.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says deputies, Walker police and Michigan State Police troopers responded shortly before midnight to 4 Mile Showplace on 4 Mile Road west of Alpine Avenue in Alpine Township, where a large party involving hundreds of people had been going on for hours.
“We encountered a large number of people, they were obviously concerned,” Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt said. “They were scared. There was security on scene and we did in fact talk with them to try to ascertain what happened.”
Initial calls to police reported a shooting, but no one was shot, the sheriff’s department said.
Instead, deputies learned, “several groups of people” had started fighting. A man then walked into the building and fired a shot into the ceiling. A bystander confronted that man and was pistol-whipped in the face, deputies said.
The man with the gun drove off.
The general manager of the venue told News 8 that the party did have security on the scene, however, that security failed to search for weapons.
Pete Stirn, director of operations for Charlesbrook Protection Services, said that while his company was not contracted for this event, it has seen a large uptick in security demand for private parties.
“Halloween parties, birthday parties, even like holiday social events have become more alert for the need for security,” Stirn said. “And we’ve seen quite a few requests, almost to the point where it’s becoming difficult to fulfill all of those requests because they usually come in last minute or with very short notice.”
Stirn said security companies tend to offer a wide range of services, but some parties opt out of certain screenings because the look of metal detectors or security screenings aren’t always welcomed.
“Ultimately that request or the fulfillment of the request falls on the responsibility of the client,” he said. “Some of them feel like it doesn’t present quite what they would consider a safe backdrop for what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Anyone with information about or video from the fight is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.