MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police in Muskegon Heights say a brother is expected to face criminal charges after accidentally shooting and killing his sister Monday afternoon.
The victim, who authorities would only confirm was between the ages of 14 and 20, died after she was shot around 1:45 p.m. at a home in the 2500 block of Elwood Street, north of E. Sherman Boulevard.
The person who pulled the trigger is in police custody and expected to face charges, Muskegon Heights Police Chief Joseph Thomas told 24 Hour News 8. He later confirmed the suspect is the victim’s brother.
The call about the shooting initially came in as a report of a child not breathing. Police say they believe that was an effort to mislead authorities.
“It just didn’t jive right from the first phone call,” Thomas said. “When we got there, the officer went, ‘Whoa’.”
“We think people sometimes panic,” he added.
Minutes after getting on scene, the officer updated dispatch that the call actually involved a shooting.
Thomas said the suspect in the case was taken into custody and confessed to being involved.
The chief said officers were able to quickly get a handle on what happened thanks to cooperation from witnesses.
“We just started asking people, ‘Can you come downtown with me?'” Thomas said. “People are getting more cooperative. … I think the people are fed up.”
Thomas said the incident should serve as a warning to community members.
“That’s what happens when you’ve got a lot of guns flying around,” he said. “This is not a video game.”
Because of the complexity of the situation, Thomas said he responded to the scene personally to assist the detective bureau.
“My heart hurt a lot,” he said of the situation.
The case will be forwarded to the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office, which will determine whether charges will be filed. The names of the people involved were not released Monday afternoon.