Groesbeck Neighborhood shooting interrupts dinner hour

Two or three suspects fired rounds at an apartment building before fleeing. Police say there were no known victims.


WEDNESDAY, March 27 — A shooting in Lansing Township’s Groesbeck Neighborhood Saturday left at least one witness “traumatized” after he saw three individuals fire rounds at an apartment complex nearby.

The witness, who asked that his name not be printed due to an ongoing police investigation, was making dinner shortly after 6 p.m. when he heard what he thought sounded like semi-automatic weapons being fired outside his home. 

“I got about halfway to the kitchen and I started hearing something that made me go: ‘What the heck is that?’ I went over to my window and, sure enough, there were two guys standing outside of a car just shooting at the building,” he said. 

He looked out his window to see what he described as a small SUV parked in the middle of Woodruff Avenue, between Chester Road and  Homer Street. While he wasn’t certain of the make or model, he recalled the vehicle as being “bright in color” and that it “looked like a station wagon type SUV.”

“At that point, a third person got out of the car and started shooting,” he said. 

He said the three suspects were all wearing hoodies and masks as they fired into an apartment building at 2920 Woodruff Ave., part of Park Lane Garden Apartments, “for 10 to 15 seconds.”

“That’s how fast it was. After they stopped shooting, they just stood there for a moment. One of them put his gun towards the air and was waving it around. Then, they just got back in the car and drove off,” he said. 

Roughly seven minutes later, he said, “probably a dozen or so cop cars showed up.”

Lansing Township Police Lt.  Aaron Lightner confirmed the incident in a phone call yesterday. He said that there were no known victims.

Reading from the incident report, he said: “Two different parties fired shots at each other from rifles and handguns in the parking lot of 2920 Woodruff.”

“There was a rifle involved. I know there were some shell casings recovered from the scene, but nobody walked into the hospital with gunshot wounds,” Lightner said. 

“It sounds like it was pretty targeted, like they knew each other,” he said. 

Officers were unable to locate the three men the witness described. Lightner also said the department didn't have a basic description of the vehicle to work with.

Despite the department’s incident report citing rifles and handguns, the witness still believes at least one of the weapons was a semi-automatic. 

“The shots were more rapid than any rifle I know of. I don't think you can cock a rifle that fast,” he said. “The way it sounded to me, they didn’t have to reload at all. It was just all three of them pulling the trigger.”

When police arrived, the witness said they essentially blocked off Chester Road and Woodruff Avenue and proceeded toward the building in formation.

“I saw a row of them in plain view. There was a cop in front who had one of them big protective shields that they use, and then there were eight or nine cops behind him in a row doing that military-style thing,” he said. 

He said he remembered some officers leaving at some point after about 6:30 p.m., but that a few stayed behind and patrolled the neighborhood for another “half-hour or so.”

The witness noted that it’s not abnormal for him to see police patrolling the neighborhood every so often, but added that he does frequently see officers pull into the parking lot of the apartment complex where the incident occurred on Saturday.

“They’ll go more often than any other place in this neighborhood. Even then, nothing like this has ever happened here,” he said. 

After speaking to some of his neighbors about the incident, the witness said one of them was able to capture an audio recording of the shooting with an electronic doorbell. He sent a copy of the 12-second audio file to City Pulse. The audio quality isn’t ideal, but the shots do sound rapid.

“They weren’t messing around,” the witness said of the suspects. “It happened so fast. I mean, I watched three guys jump out of a car and just fire randomly into an apartment complex. That was traumatizing to me.”

In the days since, the witness said he’s been waiting to see the incident covered on the local news. When Monday passed and he still hadn’t heard anything, he contacted City Pulse. 

“I thought that would have made the news, because, God, three guys firing at an apartment building for no known reason? I don’t know if it was gang-related, but it’s scary no matter who you are,” he said.

“I've been living here in this neighborhood since 2013,” he explained. “I've definitely lived in questionable places myself in my lifetime, but I can truly say I’ve never experienced anything like this.”


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