MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — People in Muskegon Heights traded their firearms for a Meijer gift card Saturday.
The city hosted a “Guns for Groceries” event, which people exchanged their guns for a $100 gift card with no questions asked.
Only three days earlier, 18-year-old Derick Wade Peterson was shot and killed in the city.
“We’ve had a rash of mishaps in the community,” said Kevin Cummings, an event organizer. “It’s high time we as a community became proactive.”
At the event, the Muskegon Heights Police Department gathered nearly 150 firearms ranging from rifles to shotguns and various forms of handguns.
“It’s not normal to be shot. It’s not normal to have somebody chase you with a gun. It’s not normal to sell drugs. It’s not normal to shoot your spouse or loved one. That’s not normal,” said Police Chief Joseph Thomas Jr.
Bill Hicks, who has been unemployed for a few months, came to the event.
“I don’t know if it’s going to make a drastic impact on the community,” Hicks said. “But it is going to make a difference. At least to start with to get the ball rolling.”
He’s working to find a new job. In the meantime, the event gave his family a little more cash.
“We can use the money for buying groceries for the girls and for us,” Hicks said. “(And) For gas for my wife and I while I’m job searching, and she’s working.”