UPDATE, 6:25 p.m. 11/21/16 – Because the reported incident allegedly occurred at an off-campus location, Ferris’ Department of Public Safety will not serve an active role in the investigation unless called upon by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department for assistance, according DPS Director Bruce Borkovich.
“We can’t put an alert out until we have something to say. The sheriff’s department investigated the incident and they’re still working on it,” Borkovich said. “We couldn’t put anything out until the sheriff department’s report was ready. We don’t want to do anything too early to interfere with the ongoing investigation that might be false information or put an officer’s safety at risk.”
In the wake of the reports, Ferris’ housing staff have been asked to be alert and proactive to ensure that all individuals entering the residence halls either live there or are being escorted by somebody who does live in the hall.
The Mecosta County Sherriff’s Department is investigating reports of gunshots at Hillcrest Oakwood Properties on 14 Mile Road, approximately one mile from Ferris’ Big Rapids campus.
The incident reportedly occurred during the early-morning hours Sunday, Nov. 20. According to a press release from the Mecosta County Sherriff’s department, one witness reported hearing three gunshots in the parking lot area and after looking out their apartment window, saw a black male with a handgun.
Another witness stated that they heard the gunshots and added that there was a party at Oakwood prior to the shooting. Oakwood is one of several off-campus student housing providers in Big Rapids.
There are currently no reports of injuries or damages as a result of this shooting.
Students received notification of the incident at approximately 2:20 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, via text and email roughly 36 hours after the initial report, via Ferris’ emergency alert system.
The suspect has not been apprehended and the Sheriff’s Office is requesting anyone with information regarding the incident or the identification of the suspect with the handgun to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (231) 591-0150.
To read about the February, 2014 shooting at Venlo Apartments in Big Rapids, click here.