Shootout suspects on the run after two shot following graduation at East Kentwood High

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says shots were fired Thursday evening at a graduation ceremony being held at East Kentwood High School.

FOX 17 also talked with a teacher who was there at the time who confirmed shots were fired.

According to Kent County Sheriff Michele LaJoye-Young, two white sedans were involved in a gun exchange between each other. Since then, police have been investigating those who were in a few cars.

Sheriff LaJoye-Young says two people got shot during the exchange.

She says one is a 40-year-old woman from Grand Rapids who was shot in the abdomen and wrist. The other is a 16-year-old boy from Texas who was shot in the wrist. “My suspicion is that they are just completely bystanders that happened to be here at the time of this gun exchange,” said LaJoye-Young.

Sheriff LaJoye-Young says both victims were taken to the hospital and as of 9:45 p.m. Thursday, both of them were in stable condition.

“I’m certainly concerned about the surge in violence and, again, I’ll go back to communities, keeping communities safe. We have to work together to bring these cases to resolution. We have to know that it’s up to each person in this community to keep each other safe,” said Sheriff LaJoye-Young.

By Thursday night, most of the high school’s parking lot near the stadium had been taped off.

Kentwood Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Polston released a statement saying the shooting happened after the Crossroads Alternative High School graduation ceremony.

KPS Statement

Kentwood Public Schools

Sheriff LaJoye-Young added, “A celebration like this is something that brings family together, makes us feel closer as a community with pride of our young people and what they’re accomplishing.

“This is very difficult to have happen in this community at this moment of celebration.”

The sheriff says her office knows of at least two shooters and, as of 10 p.m. Thursday, those suspects are still on the loose.

“I want the community to be alert to these potential suspects tonight. We have no reason to believe they’re coming back into the area or that they have a specific target back in this area.

“This scene is secure now, but of course, until we bring this case to resolution, I can’t be certain on what their intent is,” said Sheriff LaJoye-Young.

If you have any information about the Thursday evening’s shootings, contact the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

You can also submit tips anonymously to Silent Observer, online or by phone, along with texting tips to “OK2SAY.”

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