GRPD to stage mobile command center near Chicken Coop restaurant

Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-24 07:02:41-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Grand Rapids Police Department announced on Monday that it will stage a mobile command center near the Chicken Coop restaurant on the Southeast side.

This comes a day after a man was shot and killed in the parking lot of the restaurant.

"People are getting stabbed. They are getting shot," said gas station owner Vik Singh. "They are getting killed out here."

Vik Singh has owned the BP gas station across from the Chicken Coop for more than a decade. He said that the violence happening across the street has been spilling over onto his property for years.

"A bullet hole right here on top of our cash register," said Singh. '"You have a cashier that's working there 24 hours a day, and he's in danger when you have stray bullets,"

Early Sunday morning, Terence Hollis, 32, was shot and killed in the Chicken Coop's parking lot, after that a fight broke out inside the restaurant, police said.

"It's amazing in terms of the crowd that it draws on a Friday or Saturday night at 2:45 a.m.," said Grand Rapids Police Chief Dave Rahinsky. "So we recognize that, and we've got personnel out there. But obviously, in light of recent tragic incidents, we will be out there in greater numbers."

"It will be staffed, so anytime you a GRPD vehicle is out there, in this case the command post, it will be staffed with personnel," said the chief. "So, not only will we have equipment out there, but we will have people out there as well."

The mobile command center will also include spotlights and recording devices from the Department of Homeland Security.

Singh said that the Chicken Coop restaurant is open later at night than any other surrounding businesses, including his. So closing earlier might prevent crowds from showing up. He also said that the crowds that form at the Chicken Coop on the weekend are so rowdy that he closes his gas station at bar close and opens again once those crowds disperse.