Students Affected by Shooting

Venlo residents wake up to crime scene

Ferris social work senior and Venlo Place resident Christina Delgado didn’t know anything about the shooting until she walked out her front door and found her car parked in the middle of a crime scene.

Delgado, who needed to get to work, along with other residents were whose vehicles were parked in the vicinity of the shooting, were prohibited by police from moving them until the crime scene tape was taken down later that evening.

“I’m just wondering when I can leave,” Delgado said.

At 4:15 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, Ferris and Big Rapids DPS responded to a shooting at Venlo Place Apartments. The victim, Ferris student Andre Powell, 19, of Southfield, was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he was treated for gunshot wounds to the abdomen and arm and was released later that evening.

The shooting took place in the Venlo parking lot outside apartment 57.

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.

The events of Saturday, Feb. 1, are still unclear to many Venlo residents.

Ferris plastics engineering sophomore Alex Moneta, who was at United Parke Suites, doesn’t know what happened the night of the shooting.

“I have been trying to figure things out for myself, too,” Moneta said. “I just don’t really know.”

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.

This isn’t the first time Venlo has been in the news this school year.

The Torch reported in October about a non-student breaking in to a female student’s apartment. According to the president of Venlo’s property management company, Marcel Burgler, the incident occurred after the security personnel had gone home for the night, as well.

After the shooting, Wilkinson said Venlo will need to reevaluate its security measures.

“We brought in a security company from Grand Rapids,” Wilkinson said. “We plan to up our security for continuing weeks to make sure our residents feel safe.”