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Authorities share surveillance photos of shooting following graduation ceremony at East Kentwood High School

Two people, a 16-year-old boy and a 40-year-old woman, were injured in the melee at East Kentwood Crossroads Alternative High School Thursday evening.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff's Office has recovered two vehicles believed to be involved in a shooting that happened just as a graduation ceremony was letting out Thursday night.

Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young says shots rang out in the parking lot of the high school around 7:20 p.m. following the Crossroads Alternative High School graduation ceremony, which was being held at the football field.

The two victims, a 16-year-old boy from Texas and 40-year-old woman from Grand Rapids, both sustained gunshot wounds. The boy was shot in the wrist and is in stable condition. The woman was shot in the wrist and abdomen. 

Police say that Friday the woman underwent surgery and remains in critical but stable condition at the hospital.

Sheriff LaJoye-Young says two white sedans were involved in a gun exchange at the time of the shooting, and up to five people could have fired shots. 

LaJoye-Young said that at least four different types of rounds were used during the violence.

It appears a group of suspects pulled into the parking lot in a stolen white Hyundai sedan and started shooting. 

Credit: Kent County Sheriff's Office

A group in attendance at the graduation started firing back and sped off in a white Mercedes sedan, authorities said. 

The white Mercedes was located in the City of Grand Rapids during the overnight hours and KCSO now has possession of the vehicle.  

The white Hyundai was located abandoned and still running near a business in the 6100 block of Kalamazoo Avenue. This Hyundai was a stolen vehicle out of the City of Kentwood.  

Bullet holes were found in the vehicle and it is now being processed by the KCSO.  

It is believed that the white Hyundai was involved in other stolen vehicle thefts within the area.

Credit: Kent County Sheriff's Office

"I'm certainly concerned about the surge in violence," Sheriff LaJoye-Young said during a Thursday night news conference. "I'll go back to communities, keep communities safe. We have to work together to bring these cases to resolution. We have to know it's up to each person in this community to keep each other safe."

The KCSO has created an online link for those with information to securely submit video or photos of the incident. You can find it here.

Kentwood Public Schools says there was also a middle school concert being held in the school's auditorium at the same time.

Law enforcement was already on the scene for the graduation when the shooting occurred. Additional units were also called in to investigate.

KPS says about 400 people were in attendance at the Crossroads graduation. Families and students on campus were able to leave the area without further incident.

"When violence occurs within our community, it is both troubling and tragic," said Superintendent Kevin Polston. "We remain committed to the health and safety of our community and will provide support and counseling to any students that need assistance."

RELATED: GRPD identifies victim in Sunday homicide

Polston released a statement around midnight Friday addressing the incident. Crisis counselors will be available for any students who may need it. Counselors can be called at 616-455-4400.

He released another statement Friday afternoon:

Due to the ongoing investigation, several KPS schools will be closed Friday, including Pinewood Middle School, East Kentwood High School Freshman Campus, East Kentwood High School and Crossroads Alternative High School.   

Kentwood Public Schools say they are cooperating with police in the investigation. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6100 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or silentobserver.org.  


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