MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (April 24, 2014) — The community of Muskegon Heights is coming together in an attempt to restore trust between law enforcement and residents.
On Wednesday night, a 17-year-old varsity basketball player was shot and killed on his way to an awards banquet.
Law enforcement from all over the county said that after crimes like Wednesday night’s fatal shooting, it’s community members working with police that helps make an arrest.
The recent shooting killed high school junior Marquis Gresham.
Toya Walker said that she’s live in Muskegon Heights for 15 years and she’s never seen crime as bad as it is now.
“It’s bad out here. My son plays on that same basketball team with that guy and it’s just sad. You know it happens everyday. My kids are scared to come outside. I’m scared to be outside,” said Walker.
Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynne Gill said that he wants anyone who witnesses a crime to feel comfortable talking to police. Gill said that is a challenge for the department.
“It is frustrating that people for reason of fear or reprisal or simply have a distrust for the police, don’t corporate,” said Gill.
Community members came out to a forum with area police chiefs at Muskegon High School to voice their concerns over the rise in crime.
“From 8 o’clock in the morning to 4 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., or whatever the city is fine. The city is quiet. As soon as school is out, man it’s a jungle,” said a community member.
Walker said that Muskegon Heights needs more safe places for kids, and until there is change in her neighborhood, she’ll continue to take every precaution she can to stay safe.
“I’m to the point were I’m actually like sleeping not even on my bed. I got all of us sleeping lower to the ground, just afraid of getting gunshots around because I stay right in that neighborhood,” said Walker.
Pastor Andre Williams tells FOX 17 that grief counselors will be at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Muskegon Heights at 4 p.m. on Friday to help anyone who’s affected by the tragic shooting.
Muskegon Heights police said that they do have two people on interest in custody from Wednesday night’s shooting, but have not released their names. They also said that if you saw anything, you are asked to call detectives.