2.10.16: Violent shooting forces schools to close
(MLive) — Schools are closed in Muskegon Heights today after several people were shot, one by a sheriff’s deputy, at the high school Tuesday night.
Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross, in a Tweet just before midnight Tuesday, thanked the community for its support and announced that all Muskegon Heights Public School Academy schools would be closed. She said counselors would be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Police said a dispute in Grand Rapids preceded the altercation in the Muskegon Heights high/middle school parking lot. Two females and two males were shot, one of the males by a Muskegon County Sheriff’s deputy.
Muskegon Heights played Grand Rapids’ Ottawa Hills High School in basketball, and a spokesman for Grand Rapids Public Schools said all Ottawa Hills players were safely on their bus. The shooting began at about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 9 near the school’s football stadium.
The identities and hometowns of those injured have not been released by police.
Police staffed the parking lot ahead of the game and barred some people from entering because they’d heard about the possibility of a fight following the previous dispute in Grand Rapids. Authorities notified school officials and identified possible suspects.
Authorities said a deputy was confronted in a parking lot by a male armed with handgun. Muskegon Heights Interim Police Chief Joseph Thomas said the suspect brandished his gun toward the deputy.
Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said the deputy felt his life was in “imminent danger.” Michigan State Police will investigate the shooting.
Thomas said his department became aware earlier Tuesday of the potential for an altercation at the game because of the previous fight in Grand Rapids. As a result, police received assistance from the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police in providing security in the parking lot.