GRPD: Suspect not in house near Garfield Park

collins avenue se, grand rapids
Grand Rapids police on the scene on Collins Avenue SE north of Burton Street where a gunman was believed to be holed up in a house. (Oct. 23, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police surrounded a home on Grand Rapids’ southeast side for about four hours Sunday before entering it to find the suspect they were looking for was not there.

The Grand Rapids Police Department thought a gunman was holed up in a house in the 1900 block of Collins Avenue SE, north of Burton Street and Garfield Park.

Not long before 10 p.m., officers entered the house and found it was empty. They then proceeded to canvass the neighborhood looking for the suspect.

GRPD says officers were initially called to the area of Burton and S. Division Avenue around 3:30 p.m. on a report of five or six shots fired. The circumstances surrounding those shots are not yet known. Police are still working to determine if the shooter was targeting someone specific. They did not find a victim.

Witnesses told GRPD that one of the two suspects, a man in his early 20s, ran away and went into the home on Collins. An officer looked through a window of the house and saw someone who matched the description of the suspect.

collins avenue se, grand rapids
An armored GRPD vehicle at the scene of a police perimeter on Collins Avenue SE. (Oct. 23, 2016)

Officers set up a perimeter around the house and called in a negotiator, members of the detective unit and the Special Response Team — which is GRPD’s SWAT team.

“I just seen the K-9 dogs out, the police with big guns coming through back and forth in the back of houses, just real hectic,” neighbor Lakelyne Phillips described the scene.

The suspect’s connection to the home was unknown.

While police had their perimeter in place, they told residents in the immediate area to shelter in place. Residents were being allowed to leave if they choose, but were not being allowed back in.

Police initially said at least one other person was believed to be in the house, but later said they thought the suspect was the only person inside.

24 Hour News 8 has a crew on the scene and is working to bring you more information.