GV students among those injured in second Canvas Apartments shootings in one month


GVL / Bri Conway

Zoë Murphy, Staff Writer

In the early hours of Sept. 18 multiple shots were fired at Canvas Townhomes Apartments located near Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.

Unfortunately, this kind of violence is not foreign to the local community. Just three weeks prior to the Sept. 18 shooting, another incident involving gunfire took place in the same complex when multiple shots were fired in the early hours of Aug. 27.

In the previous incident, only buildings were hit by gunfire. On Sunday morning, however, two students and two other non-residents were injured by gunfire.

According to a GVSUALERT! email sent to the campus community by GVSU’s Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Brandon DeHaan, none of the injuries incurred from the gunfire resulted in fatalities.

“The Sheriff’s Office is reporting that three victims were treated and released, while one remains in the hospital in stable condition,” DeHaan wrote in the email. “Two of the victims were GVSU students. While no arrests have been made at this time, the Sheriff’s Office reported that there is no ongoing or continuing threat to the public, students or staff at this time.”

In response to the incident and to the previous violence that has taken place, Canvas released an email detailing new rules in the community and stated that the residents involved in the shooting have been told that their lease has been terminated.

In the notice sent by Canvas representatives, the management of the apartment complex called for change.

“With the recent incidents happening onsite due to social gatherings effective immediately, we are implementing a zero tolerance for social gatherings,” the email said.

Canvas Townhomes representatives declined Lanthorn’s request for an interview. The motives behind these acts of violence remain unknown or unreleased.

The shooting took place when there were many people out and about in the complex, so many students and residents experienced the shooting firsthand. Students who witnessed the shooting have since reflected on the last weekend’s events and in the last few weeks in their own neighborhood.

McGregor Hepburn, a sophomore at GVSU, was inside a house nearby spending time with friends when the shots were fired.

“We didn’t hear anything,” Hepburn said. “Our friend walked outside, and he came back out of breath, slammed the door and was freaking out. He frantically repeated, ‘This guy just got shot.’”

As someone who is in the area often, Hepburn said the situation warrants additional caution but doesn’t affect his perception of local safety.

“I don’t really think it has (affected how safe I feel),” Hepburn said. “I just make sure to be a little more cautious and aware of my surroundings. Stuff like this happens, I just don’t get involved in it.”

All four people who were shot have since fully recovered and, according to the communications sent out by GVSU and Canvas, no ongoing threats have been evident since the investigation that was held by the police.

DeHaan urged any students or community members who witness or have information regarding overnight shootings in the area to contact the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office at 616-738-4000 or Silent Observer at 877-887-4536.