Davenport president after shooting: ‘It’s a safe campus’

Sleeping student shot in hand at dorm on Caledonia Township campus

Davenport University, South Hall
South Hall, a residence hall at Davenport University W.A. Lettinga Campus (Oct. 23. 2016).


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A day after a shooting on Davenport University’s campus southeast of Grand Rapids, the college’s president reassured students that the campus is safe.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning inside South Hall at Davenport’s Caledonia Township campus. University officials say a fight broke out and someone fired a shot. The bullet traveled through a wall and hit a sleeping student in the hand.

Davenport President Dr. Richard Pappas said the university’s systems worked as they were supposed to following such an incident. Students and parents were notified and Kent County emergency responders were called to the scene.

“I was relieved that nobody was seriously hurt and I was relieved that we had followed the protocol,” Pappas told 24 Hour News 8 in an interview over the phone Monday. “It’s unfortunate that anything happens, but that’s why you prepare.”

Tuesday, Davenport University officials said they expect an arrest soon. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said an announcement in the case is expected to be made Wednesday.

Pappas sent a letter to students reassuring them that there is no ongoing threat on campus.

“It’s a safe campus,” Pappas said. “We were, last year, the 17th safest campus in the country and we still are a safe campus.”

“We’ve done shooter training for our employees,” he added Tuesday. “We’re really prepared. unfortunately this is some of the society that we deal with, but we are seeing if there is anything we can improve on.”

The student who was shot has been back to campus and is doing well.

–24 Hour News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.