2 in custody in shooting near Ferris State

DeCory Downing. (April 2012 file photo courtesy Macomb County Jail)

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been arrested for a shooting near Ferris State University that left one man injured.

Officials arrested 19-year-old DeCory Demarco Downing just before midnight Saturday. According to police records, he is facing attempted murder and a felony firearm charge in connection to the shooting, which happened around 4:15 a.m. Saturday.

“We had no idea who he was in the morning. As the day progressed, we were able to identify him,” Director of Public Safety Bruce Borkovich said at a Sunday morning press conference.

The shooting happened at Venlo Place off campus in Big Rapids. A man believed to be a Ferris student was shot. He was treated at a hospital in Grand Rapids and has since been released. Investigators say he was shot with a handgun.

Police say Downing, who is from the Mount Clemens area, is not a student at Ferris State University. They say he does not appear to know the victim in any way.

Law enforcement agents are not releasing any details at this time about Downing’s capture. But according to officials with Ferris State University, he was arrested at an apartment in Finch Court.

Police also found the a gun matching the description of the weapon used in the shooting inside an unidentified woman’s car. She was also taken into custody for questioning.

“We believe that female was involved in the shooting in the morning,” Borkovich said. “We don’t know to what extent yet. The investigation on that end is still continuing.”

MSP and GRPD's SWAT tactical teams assist law enforcement officials at Ferris State (February 1, 2014).
MSP and GRPD’s SWAT tactical teams assist law enforcement officials at Ferris State (February 1, 2014).

Police swarmed the The Finch Court apartment complex Saturday. Grand Rapids police and Michigan State Police’s SWAT tactical forces assisted in the standoff. There were five law enforcement agencies at the stakeout.

Ferris State Police say they made attempts to contact the occupants of the apartment they surrounded.

Students living in apartments at the Finch Court area were evacuated to safe locations.  During the situation, police asked students in residence halls and apartments near Finch Court to remain in their halls.

Eventually, Downing was taken into custody.

Public safety officers are still investigating exactly what led up to the shooting. They say there was a party near the area of the shooting. There was some kind of argument or altercation in the parking lot.

Officers have not spoken to the victim yet.

If you have any information about the suspect or the shooting, please call public safety at 231-591-5000.

Ferris officials said as soon as they became aware of the incident, they sent out campus-wide and community-wide alerts to the entire area advising people to stay in their homes. FSU SHOOTING 3

Borkovich said he was pleased with the response to the incident.

“It was a pretty well-running machine yesterday all day long. I couldn’t be happier, Borkovich said.

Counseling is available for Ferris State students.

“As safe as Big Rapids is, and as safe as Ferris State is, no place is immune from serious crime anymore. We know that,” Borkovich said Saturday afternoon.

If convicted of attempted murder, Downing could face up to life in prison. The firearms charges carries a sentence of two years in prison.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in the Detroit area, according to Michigan State Police records.

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