Muskegon Heights High School shooting suspect charged

A mug shot of Clarence Jamichael McCaleb.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A 21-year-old Grand Rapids man has been formally charged with the Tuesday night shooting at Muskegon Heights High School that left four people injured including the suspect himself.

Clarence Jamichael McCaleb, who appeared in Muskegon District Court Wednesday in a wheelchair, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon where Muskegon County Deputy Thomas Schmidt as the target of that assault.

He is also charged with possession of a firearm, felony firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat said it is likely more charges would come forward as the investigation proceeds.

“Additionally, the investigation so far clearly shows that Deputy Schmidt acted in a thoroughly professional and heroic manner,” Maat noted in a written statement. “When gunshots were heard, Deputy Schmidt ran towards the sound of gunfire and was confronted by the gunman.”

Based upon independent evidence; including from civilian witnesses at the scene, it is clear Deputy Schmidt was in imminent danger of being shot and took necessary action to save his life and the lives of other innocent people,” Maat wrote.

McCaleb was arraigned in Muskegon District Court via jailhouse video Wednesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing. He could not walk and has a cast on his left arm.

During the arraignment hearing, Maat said McCaleb shot into a crowd and into the air before pointing the gun at the deputy.

In a probable cause affidavit, police say McCaleb claims he was being rushed by a crowd following a fight outside the school.

Grand Rapids police detectives were in Muskegon Wednesday to provide assistance to the prosecution.

McCaleb has a criminal record that includes a four month jail sentence in November after he pleaded guilty drug possession in Kent County. Grand Rapids District Court record also includes other drug and failure to obey a police officer charges.

He returns to court March 1 for a probable cause hearing where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to felony court. He remains in jail on two $250,000 bonds.

Police are also holding as second person, Calvin Lee Owens, in the case as a material witness. They say he allegedly saw McCaleb with the gun, pointing it a deputy. He is refusing to testify. Owens is being held on an unrelated open warrant out of Kent County.

Additionally, Interim Muskegon Heights Police Chief Dr. Joseph E. Thomas, Jr. said on Wednesday that police are still looking for three more people believed to have been with McCaleb, though it was unclear how they were involved.

“They’re not from Muskegon Heights, and they brought their bad behavior into this city and we’re going to see if we can track them down and encourage them to stay away from the city with their bad behavior,” Thomas said.

He did not call the men suspects. Instead, he said police need to talk with them, after which they would decide how to move forward.


Editor’s note: Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat originally told 24 Hour News 8 that GRPD was investigating whether McCaleb was connected to a shooting in in Grand Rapids in 2015. However, GRPD says that is not the case and they are not investigating him in connection to that shooting.

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