GRPD: Crime down near scene of shooting

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say despite a Monday shooting only blocks from Grand Rapids’ busy bar and arena district, crime is actually down in that area.

Monday afternoon, a teen was shot in front of the Weston Apartments near the corner of  Weston Street and Commerce Avenue SW. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A witness told 24 Hour News 8 he heard multiple shots fired.

Grand Rapids police respond to a shooting outside Weston Apartments. (Feb. 10, 2014)
Grand Rapids police respond to a shooting outside Weston Apartments. (Feb. 10, 2014)

The apartment building — which is federally subsidized low-incoming housing — “has been the location of several incidents involving the police over the years,” Grand Rapids Police Department Capt. Dan Savage said.

But Savage said he has seen improvement.

In 2012, there were 214 calls from the apartment of 200 units to GRPD. There were only 78 calls in 2013.

Savage, the GRPD captain assigned to that neighborhood, said that drop is no coincidence. In 2012, he noticed that officers were called here too often. So police and the building’s owner — The Dwelling Place — started working together to change that.

“We did our best to work really aggressively with the security and management,” Savage said.

The Dwelling Place has since invested $70,000 into security changes to the Weston building and another down the street.

Four out of five residents 24 Hour News 8 asked say they feel it’s safer.

“Since they put on security 24/7 it’s gotten a whole lot better. Before there was tons of trouble in here,” Jan Lloyd, who has lived in the complex for almost 10 years, said. “Nothing but trouble — fights, drugs. They’re always doing drugs in there.”

She said that has all stopped.

“If they do see something going on, they take care of it,” Lloyd said.

“There is a lot going on down here and I certainly don’t feel people should feel unsafe,” Savage said.

The shooting happened outside the building. The victim, who was 15 or 16, is going to be OK. Police arrested one person.

A spokesperson for The Dwelling Place told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday evening that no one involved in the shooting lived at the apartments. The victim knew someone who had lived there, the spokesperson said, but that person has since moved out.

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