HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two people were shot and killed at an apartment building in Holland on Monday evening.
The shooting happened around 6:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Stratford Way, north of E. 16th Street, according to the Holland Department of Public Safety. Police said they were called to the scene on a report of multiple gunshots.
During a news conference on Tuesday, police identified the victims as Mani Khounvongsa, 37, and Gilberto Andrade-Pena, 40, both from Holland. The victims know one another, but police did not clarify how.
Authorities say they were both trying to flee the ground-floor apartment when they were shot. Andrade-Pena was found outside a sliding glass door and Khounvongsa in the hallway. Both died on scene.
Police said the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Bounthavee Nerasin of Zeeland, targeted the victims. The circumstances leading up to and motive of the shooting are not yet known. It did not seem that anything had been taken from the apartment.
Nerasin was described as a 5-foot-4, heavy-set Asian man with a dark complexion and short, black hair. He was believed to be driving a gold-colored 1997 Lexus LS400, 4-door with tinted windows with Michigan license plate BRE2702.
Police conducted a search warrant on the suspect’s home in the 10000 block of Wood Run Drive in Zeeland overnight after pinging a cell phone belonging to Nerasin, but he was not at his home.
Authorities considered Nerasin armed and dangerous and urged the public to contact police with any information on his whereabouts.
There were at least two other people in the residence at the time of the shooting who were not harmed. Police said Khounvongsa has children, but they were not in the apartment when the shooting happened.
Police said their focus was on finding the shooter.
“It’s important that we’re following up on those leads and trying to get him in custody,” Dykstra said.
Anyone with information about the shooting or whereabouts of the shooter is asked to call the Holland Department of Public Safety at 616.355.1100 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be submitted to Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.
Grand Rapids Community College’s Lakeshore campus, which is only a few blocks away from the scene of the shooting, was locked down for a short time.
According to federal court documents from 2008, Nerasin was part of a drug trafficking organization that sold methamphetamine and marijuana in California, Wisconsin and Michigan. The documents show he lived in Michigan, but flew to California with a prospective drug buyer to introduce them to a drug gang. However, the buyer was actually a confidential informant for federal investigators.
Nerasin was charged as part of the drug gang, but pleaded to a lesser charge of Illegal Use of a Communication Facility in an agreement with federal prosecutors. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against the other defendants and was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison in Ohio and 12 months probation.
**Editor’s Note: Police originally identified the suspect as Bountavee Narasin. They later corrected the spelling to Bounthavee Nerasin which is reflected in our story.