Police: 1 shot at Muskegon Heights Festival

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — A large fight that broke out at a festival early Sunday left one man with an apparent gunshot wound, Muskegon Heights police say.

Muskegon Heights Police Chief Thomas said the fight started around 1 a.m. in Rowan Park, where the Muskegon Heights Festival was taking place.

Police said a man reported being shot in the leg at a beer tent. He was taken away by friends. It is unclear what caused the fight or how seriously the man was hurt.

The violence forced the beer tent to stop serving early.

Ronnie Matthews, a lifelong Muskegon Heights resident who volunteers at the festival, said he was ashamed something so negative clouded the fun.

“This is all we have during the summer,” Matthews said. “We don’t have a whole lot going on in downtown Muskegon Heights but this has been really a positive thing to have and we’ve done well over the years. Hopefully, this one incident doesn’t change that.”

“Things like that shouldn’t happen,” he continued. “We come out here to have a good time and celebrate just before the holidays and, you know, I just hope he recuperates well. These people are something you can’t control. You can’t control everything when you have hundreds and hundreds of people walking through here.”

Matthews suggested stronger security measures for future events in the city. 

“Maybe we need to do security checks next time,” he said. “We will figure this out and move forward. I don’t want people to look down on Muskegon Heights. There’s still some good things, some positive things, some good people that are trying to do things to continue to keep this community going.”

“People still remember those good ol’ days here,” Matthews said. “If we could bring back some of those glory days and just continue to do what we’re doing and just build on that, you know? We’re moving in the right direction and we’re trying. It’s just going to take some time.” 

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