Man gets prison for opening fire at Davenport University dorm, injuring sleeping student

The man who fired shots on Davenport's campus is heading to prison.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A Lansing man who opened fire at Davenport University, injuring a student who was sleeping in a dorm room, was sentenced Tuesday, Oct. 24 to a minimum of nearly 10 years in prison.

Paul Christopher Howard, 24, fired five rounds from a .380-caliber handgun inside a Davenport dormitory in Kent County’s Caledonia Township. One of the bullets struck a student who was sleeping in another room. He was treated for a gunshot to the hand.

Howard pleaded no contest last month to numerous felony charges stemming from the Oct. 23, 2016 shooting, including discharging a weapon in or at a building causing injury and felony possession of a firearm.

Prior convictions in Ingham County precluded Howard from having a gun.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan sentenced Howard to between nine years, 11 months and 20 years in prison.  

Howard and several others entered the dorm room of a football player. Police say Howard pulled a .380 caliber handgun from his coat, pointed it at the student and made statements such as “I could kill you’’ before firing several rounds at a door.

Howard “continued to shoot a round to both the right and left side. . .only shooting the rounds in the doors directly behind,’’ court records show. “After shooting five rounds, Paul Howard and other unknown individuals fled the dorm room and eventually fled the university campus.’’

Moments later, Braden Schrotenboer emerged from his bedroom, suffering a gunshot to his hand. He was sleeping in a bottom bunk when the bullet struck him, police said. The Davenport freshman played football at Zeeland East High School.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department identified Howard as a suspect within days of the shooting and a warrant was issued charging him with four offenses. He was arrested in Lansing on Jan. 26. 

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