GRPD: 2 suspects arrested, 1 at large after shots fired

Peal Street off-ramp arrests
Grand Rapids police arrest two people on the ramp from northbound US-131 to Pearl Street. The suspects are connected to earlier reports of shots fired in the Black Hills neighborhood. (Oct. 29, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police arrested two people on a highway off-ramp downtown in connection to two reports of shots fired, but police are still looking for a third suspect.

A 24 Hour News 8 skycam captured the arrests on the ramp from northbound US-131 to Pearl Street around 11:30 a.m.

The Grand Rapids Police Department described the remaining suspect as a white male with tattoos on his neck and face and wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt. He was last seen in the area of the J.W. Marriott Hotel, which is south of Pearl less than a quarter of a mile east of the off-ramp.

Police say he may be armed and dangerous and that you should not approach him if you see him. Instead, you should call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon says the situation is related to earlier incidents of shots fired in the Black Hills neighborhood and a felonious assault. The first report of 10 shots fired happened around 3:15 a.m. at the intersection of Woolsey Drive and Oxford Street SW. Responding officers found bullet holes in a house on Woolsey. People were inside that house, but no one was hurt. Witnesses reported seeing a silver car drive away after the shots were fired.

About eight hours later, around 11:15 a.m., citizens reported hearing about 10 more shots in the same area of Woolsey. They again reported three men in a silver BMW driving away after the shots were fired. Another witness told GRPD that people had been shooting at each other just before the BMW fled, though there were not any reports of injuries.

Only about eight minutes later, GRPD received a call from a citizen who said he had come upon a stalled-out BMW on the Pearl Street off-ramp. When the citizen stopped to help, he told police, someone in the BMW pointed a handgun at him.

(Oct. 29, 2016)
Grand Rapids police surround a vehicle on the ramp from northbound US-131 to Pearl Street and arrest two people in connection to a shooting. (Oct. 29, 2016)

Police soon arrived on the scene and surrounded the vehicle. In addition to making the two arrests, they recovered two handguns. The off-ramp was shut down while police searched the vehicle involved, but has since reopened.

Witnesses told police they saw a third suspect running away before officers arrived on scene.

“Supposedly, he had fled with, possibly, a rifle. He fled east toward the downtown area from that exit,” Sgt. Dixon said. “The officers conducted a ground search — searching businesses on foot, they were checking cars, they were checking surveillance cameras in the area. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate that third suspect.”

Early Saturday, there were three other shootings in metro Grand Rapids — one that left two teens with non-life-threatening injuries, another apparently unrelated incident that left a man in critical condition and an altercation in Wyoming in which one man was shot in the hand. No one has been arrested in any of those shootings.

Dixon said police had not yet made a determination about whether the people involved in the Black Hills incidents had anything to do with the other violence.

“Any of the other shootings, we’re not prepared to say that they were involved in those,” Dixon said. “We’re not sure about that.”