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Grand Rapids Fire Department hit by gunfire

Posted at 10:59 AM, Oct 23, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Fire Department headquarters was hit by gunfire a number of times on Tuesday night. Investigators do not believe any firefighters were targeted.

“We believe this was a random act, that we, firefighters, are not being targeted,” said Grand Rapids Fire Chief Laura Knapp.

“The thing is that firefighting is a dangerous profession, and you have to always be vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times, but in this particular case we believe this is not targeting firefighters,” Knapp said.

According to Grand Rapids Police, three shots hit the building at 38 La Grave Avenue, including two second-story single pane windows, as well as the upper panel of an overhead door on the ground level.

Chief Knapp said the station is staffed 24-hours-per-day and there were firefighters inside at the time shots were fired, but no one was hurt.  No one was in the administration part of the building at the time of the shooting, Knapp said.

Bullets went through the windows of the fire prevention office, where Knapp said employees work until 4:30 p.m.

Grand Rapids Police said there was a confrontation between a group of men and shots were fired.  They were called to the area at about 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to a release.

Officers first responded to the area of South Division Ave and Weston Street. When they got there, investigators said witnesses brought officers one block away to Weston Street and Sheldon Avenue SE where officers found three shell casings. The GRFD headquarters’ building is one block away from where the casings were found.

Police say at this time they have no reason to believe firefighters or the station were the target of the shooting.

“The evidence so far clearly indicates that this was not targeted at the La Grave fire station, and firefighters are not being targeted as well,” said Knapp.

Police ask anyone with credible information on this incident to call Grand Rapids Police Department at (616) 456-3604, or call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.