GRPD: Security officer shooting ‘unacceptable’

Police at the scene of the security guard shooting outside an employee parking ramp at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. (June 23, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are reviewing surveillance video was they work to catch the person who shot an unarmed Spectrum Health security officer late Sunday night.

It happened just after 11 p.m. outside a Spectrum Health employee parking ramp on Lafayette Avenue north of Michigan Street.

“This is unacceptable to have this kind of behavior,” Grand Rapids Police Department Capt. Curt VanderKooi said.

A Spectrum Health security police car. (June 23, 2014)
(A Spectrum Health security police car. June 23, 2014)

The security officer was trying to question the suspect about a theft from a car in the employee parking ramp, police say. When the officer told the man to stop, he pulled a gun. The security officer tried to get away, but the man fired one shot and hit him in the leg. The suspect ran.

Police said they were puzzled and worried by the shooter’s violent reaction.

“Very uncommon that it would happen under these circumstances,” VanderKooi said. “Over simply being a suspect in what basically is a misdemeanor crime, you feel that you have to use a violent act in order to evade apprehension.”

And the security officer was unarmed.

A Spectrum Health spokesperson says the hospital been thinking for at least two years about giving guns to at least some of their security people, but has so far not reached a decision.

The security officer’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 Monday he was treated for the wound and released from the hospital. She said he returned home and was doing OK.

Police investigators are pushing hard on the case.

“We really are very interested in apprehending this person,” VanderKooi said. “We don’t tolerate it. We will fully investigate this in order to determine who did this.”

He said investigators are looking at video from ramp security cameras and canvassing the nearby neighborhood to try to identify the suspect.

Anyone with information should call Grand Rapids Police at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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