GRPD: Woman dies of gunshot wound at ‘troubled’ apt.

Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, shooting
Grand Rapids police on the scene of a suspicious gunshot death on Kalamazoo Avenue SE on March 20, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are investigating the suspicious death of an 18-year-old woman on the city’s southeast side.

It happened at a house on Kalamazoo Avenue SE near Worden Street that has been split into apartments. The Grand Rapids Police Department said officers were called there just after 7 p.m. Monday. They expected to remain in the area for a few hours as they awaited a search warrant and then processed the scene.

The 18-year-old was found dead of a single gunshot. A gun — possibly the one used in the shooting — was also recovered, police say.

The circumstances surrounding the death are not yet entirely clear. GRPD Sgt. John Wittkowski refrained from calling the death a homicide.

“You have suicide, you have homicide, you have accidental shooting,” he said. “So until the ME (medical examiner) determines what it truly is with assistance from our detective unit, I’m in no position to rule this anything.”

Wittkowski said that upwards of 15 people may have been at the apartment at the time of the shooting and that only one remained when police arrived. That person was taken in for questioning as a witness — though police don’t think that person actually saw the shooting happen.

GRPD told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday morning that detectives were investigating a person of interest who did not live in the partment. However, that person has since been released.

Detectives were also questioning area residents Monday night.

Wittkowski described the apartment where the shooting happened as a “troubled residence.” He said police have previously been called there on reports of shots fired and possible drug activity. Last summer, a fight broke out and a responding officer broke his hand in the altercation.

The 18-year-old’s name has not yet been released pending notification of her family members. Police said she was from Grand Rapids but did not live at the apartment.

Some emotional family members arrived on the scene as police worked Monday night, crying and hugging one another.

Anyone with information is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

–24 Hour News 8’s Evan Dean contributed to this report.