Ferris State and Michigan State dealing with aftermath of student shootings

A shooting in the parking lot of a Ferris State University apartment complex left one student injured in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 1. After a daylong search, culminating in a parking lot standoff between police and the suspect, police arrested Macomb County resident DeCory DeMarco Downing, 20, late Saturday night.

Downing was arraigned Monday in Mecosta County District Court. He faces 17 different felony charges related to the shooting, according to MLive.com. He could face life in prison if convicted. Downing was not a student at Ferris and has no known ties to the school, police said.

A woman, Shaionna Brown, 18, was also arrested in connection with the case. She faces charges of accessory, as well as two weapons charges, according to court documents.

The victim, identified in court documents as Andre Powell, received one gunshot in the arm during the standoff in the Venlo Place apartments parking lot. The bullet reportedly went through his arm and into his abdomen. He was hospitalized for the injuries, but has since been released.

Investigators do not yet know the motive for the crime, but say early investigation indicates an argument gone wrong.

Following the shooting Saturday morning, Ferris State cancelled all sporting events and classes. Additionally, the school evacuated about 12 residents of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred and provided them with alternate housing.

Michigan State University (MSU) is also dealing with the aftermath of a shooting in an apartment complex on the university campus. The MSU shooting occurred inside an off-campus MSU apartment complex around 8:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. It left one student dead and another injured, according to a statement released by the East Lansing Police Department. The shooter remains at large.

Twenty-year-old MSU student Dominique James Nolff passed away Saturday morning at Sparrow Hospital from injuries received in the shooting. The second victim, whose name has not been released at this time, received treatment for one gunshot wound before being released from the hospital, police said.

Detectives from the East Lansing Police Department are still working to locate the gunman, believed to be a male in his 20s. While investigations are ongoing, police said that the shooting “did not appear to be a random act.”

In a statement released Friday, MSU spokesperson Kent Casella noted that the shooting did not occur on the MSU campus, though the apartment complex is nearby. Cassella went on to assure MSU students that “there is no indication of immediate danger to the [MSU] campus community.”

Despite these shootings at nearby colleges, William Corner, director of campus safety at Calvin, believes Calvin has plenty of safety measures in place to prevent such violent acts.

“There are many things we have put in place to help make Calvin a safer place,” Corner said. He highlighted Calvin’s no-weapon policy:

“No weapons of any kind are allowed on campus, except as authorized by the board of trustees. Exceptions for campus safety supervisors are governed by the college’s use of force policy,” he said.

Corner also noted the mental and spiritual support Calvin provides for students through campus ministries, the Broene Counseling Center and many other services.

In case any violence does erupt on Calvin’s campus, Corner recommends signing up for Calvin’s emergency notification system.

“The emergency notification system is going to be fastest and most direct way to get information to people in a hurry. So it is important for people to sign up for emergency notification and maintain their contact information to ensure they receive these important messages,” Corner said.

He also suggests students program the campus safety phone number, 3-3333, into their phones, so they can call in an emergency.