CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (May 25, 2014) – A 21-year-old man was shot in the back at a ticketed event at the Cascade Township Banquet Hall off of 28th Street SE before 2 A.M. Sunday. Officials say the man is recovering in stable condition, but witnesses say it’s just another party-turned-shooting that’s plaguing the city.
“When I go out this Friday night, I want to be the person I was in high school, I want to really enjoy myself; that’s slowly being robbed of Grand Rapids,” said a witness who asked to remain anonymous.
Witnesses say the party was packed and chaotic.
“It was definitely more than one gun. There was a few minutes between the first group of shootings, maybe two minutes max, and then the last seven, eight, ten shots we heard were in the back of the building. After that we were just running around trying not to get hit,” said the witness.
The ground outside near the front doors of the Cascade Banquet Hall was littered with broken beer bottles and event tickets: the Memorial Day Celebration that was going on when the fight broke out. After shots were fired, police found several shell casings lining the sidewalk and throughout the parking lot, and bullets struck several nearby cars.
Deputies say they’re looking into what caused the fight, but witnesses say event security felt understaffed.
“There was way too many people there. There was a lot of times where security wasn’t at the door. There was times where people would walk up to the door and just walk right in, they never ID’ed us,” said the witness.
One man described the scene as people wall-to-wall with two girls fighting, nearly nude strippers, and liquor being sold in a makeshift way.
“Whoever was selling it, it was like, ‘this is ours, we’re doing it, you all buy our liquor’ kind-of-thing,” the witness told Fox 17 News.
While deputies continue to question witnesses, party-goers say shootings like this are becoming too common. Deputies say they do not have any shooting suspects, but ask anyone with information to call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at (616) 632-6215, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.