NW GR home riddled by bullets in drive-by shooting

Grand Rapids, Pine Avenue NW, drive-by shooting
Grand Rapids police investigate after several shots were fired at a house on Pine Avenue NW on the night of April 19, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman said she was putting her children to bed in a Grand Rapids home when shots rang out Wednesday night.

As many as 20 bullets were fired from a passing vehicle in the 300 block of Pine Avenue NW near Bridge Street, police confirmed. At least eight bullets hit the home.

The woman didn’t want to go on camera, but said she didn’t know of anyone living in the house who would have a beef with someone who’d shoot up the home.

It was also a close call for the Pierce family, who lives nearby.

“You can see the round hole next to where it split,” said neighbor Jim Pierce, showing a tree in the berm in front of his home, which appeared to be damaged by a bullet.

Grand Rapids, Pine Avenue NW, drive-by shooting
The scene after shots were fired at a house on Pine Avenue NW on the night of April 19, 2017.

Police described the shooting as a drive-by, although some neighbors think the shooter or shooters may have been walking.

“(There is this) sharp crack. Then you can hear the strikes hit over here, heard the bullet strikes hit against the house,” recounted Jim Pierce.

“It started from the north. Then it was gone in a flash,” added Janet Pierce.

No one was hurt in the shooting.

Grand Rapids, Pine Avenue NW, drive-by shooting
Grand Rapids police investigate after several shots were fired at a house on Pine Avenue NW on the night of April 19, 2017.

As upsetting as it was, neighbors say the sound of gunfire has become more commonplace here.

“It’s getting to be a free fire zone around here,” said Jim Pierce. “I called (police) a couple of nights ago. I heard five shots right in front of my house. ‘Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam’ in the street right in front of my house.”

Police responded but didn’t find any evidence of a shooting that time.

Back in March, a woman was murdered just four blocks west, near Bridge Street and Lincoln Avenue NW.

Jim Pierce says he remembers the night 20 years ago, shortly after he bought the home near the corner of Pine Avenue and Douglas Street NW.

“Turned everything off, opened all the windows, and just leaned back and listened. All you could hear was crickets,” he reminisced.

For Jim Pierce and his family, Wednesday night’s shooting at the house next door is one more example of how the neighborhood changed.

“I won’t walk to that corner down there without a pistol in my pocket,” he said.

So far, police haven’t announced any arrests in Wednesday’s shooting. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer 616.774.2345.