Police surround Ferris apartment, suspect search continues

UPDATE: 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

The Ferris student who was shot has been treated and released from the hospital.

Two women have voluntarily exited the Finch Court apartment where the suspect is believed to be. One woman is a former Ferris student and the other is a current Ferris student.

One of the women is not cooperating with law enforcement, according to Ferris Director of DPS Bruce Borkovich. She is being questioned at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department and may be an accomplice to the shooter.

The Michigan State Police emergency team is now implementing peaceful tactics to remove the suspect from the residence.

UPDATE: 10:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

Nearly 18 hours have passed since a Ferris student was shot at Venlo Place Apartments, and the suspect continues to elude police.

Ferris Director of DPS Bruce Borkovich said the suspect is still believed to be in a Finch Court apartment, which is on-campus housing at Ferris State University.

The immediate area surrounding the apartment has been evacuated. On-campus residents are advised to stay indoors.

Police have made numerous attempts to contact the suspect. Borkovich said law enforcement believe they have identified the suspect but are not releasing his name at this time. There is no indication that he is a current or former Ferris student.

UPDATE: 9:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

Ferris news services and social media manager Sandy Gholston announced that the press conference scheduled for 10 p.m. is pushed back to 10:30 p.m. due to a development in the case.

Ferris Director of Public Safety Bruce Borkovich will address the media.

UPDATE: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

A press conference is expected to be announced soon. Police are believed to have new information regarding the Venlo shooting suspect.

Multiple Torch staffers are on the scene for the latest coverage.

UPDATE: 6:35 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

Police have taken down the crime scene tape and vacated Venlo Place Apartments, according to residents. Residents are now permitted to move their vehicles. Anyone with information about the Venlo shooting is encouraged to contact Ferris DPS at (231) 591-5000.

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

The lockdown on Finch Court has been lifted, according to residents. Police continue to look for the shooter and have expanded the search.

Some campus activities have resumed.

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1

The suspect involved in an early morning shooting near Ferris State University is still at large.

Police are going door-to-door in a search focused in the area surrounding Finch Court for the suspect. The suspect is believed to be armed and not known to be a Ferris student.

The suspect is described as a black male with dread­locks, 5-foot-10, 150 pounds and 20 to 22 years old. He was reportedly last seen wearing black cargo pants, a red sweatshirt and black vest.

Finch Court, a residential housing complex on campus, is on lockdown. Residents are advised to stay inside.

The vehicle police believe the suspect used to leave the crime scene was found parked in Finch Court. It may have been stolen. Officers are attempting to locate the owner.

The victim, a Ferris student, was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and is being treated for gunshot wounds to the arm and abdomen. Authorities believe the injuries are not life threatening.

Although police are unsure of the victim and suspect’s relationship, they believe the shooting, which occurred in the Venlo parking lot, wasn’t random. Officials said the shooting followed an altercation between the suspect and the victim.

“Big Rapids is a very safe community,” Director of Ferris DPS Bruce Borkovich said. “When something happens, it’s shocking to us.”

Due to the shooting, all activities scheduled on the Ferris campus have been canceled or suspended today, Sat. Feb. 1.

A male, who police believe is a Ferris student, was shot at 4:15 a.m. on Feb. 1.

Police have secured what they have identified as the crime scene in the Venlo parking lot outside of apartment 57 near the complex’s entrance.

Venlo Place is located on the north side of Perry Street approximately midway between Highway US 131 and the main cam­pus. Venlo is a multi-building off-campus student housing complex across from Katke Golf Course.

Venlo property manager Becky Wilkinson said the incident happened after security had left for the night.

“We try to do the best we can to protect the students,” she said.
Wilkinson said Venlo will need to reevaluate its security measures.

Police have advised students and residents in the area to stay inside and use extreme caution. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ferris DPS at (231) 591-5000.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available. Torch staff members Lindsey Hogan, Taylor Hooper, Ben Rettinhouse and Alex Wittman contributed to this story.