Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Witnesses recount scene of Sunday's M.A.C. Avenue shooting, panic at downtown bars

September 15, 2022
<p>Police report to a call on M.A.C. Avenue in East Lansing on Sept. 11, 2022. There were reports of a shooting and the suspect is still at-large. (Photo Courtesy of Gabrielle Ahlborn). </p>

Police report to a call on M.A.C. Avenue in East Lansing on Sept. 11, 2022. There were reports of a shooting and the suspect is still at-large. (Photo Courtesy of Gabrielle Ahlborn).

Gabrielle Osbourne said she heard gunshots but, since the shots weren't that loud, she thought they were fireworks.

"It was just, like, a bunch of pops," Osbourne said. "So, I didn't even get up until I heard some girl wailing outside."

Osbourne resides at Howland House, a Spartan Housing Cooperative, which is located at 415 M.A.C Ave. – down the street from the scene of Sunday's shooting that left a person hospitalized, ELPD recently confirmed in a release. It is not clear what the nature of injury at this time.

As of Sept. 16, several suspects continue to remain at large after the shooting.

From Osbourne's bedroom window, she had view of how the situation unfolded – specifically, the emergency services' response.

"There was only one ambulance that came ... I saw them pull (the victim) out," Osbourne said. "There wasn't a lot of blood ... it definitely was worse than I could see. But it wasn't as chaotic medically as I would have expected."

A spokesperson for Sparrow Hospital said he could not comment regarding how many people were brought into the hospital due to patient privacy and the ambulances being private.

Osbourne said she could hear the injured person's friends talking amongst themselves after she was taken by the ambulance, seemingly unconcerned about their friend's plight.

"They were freaking out at first. They were not nearly as concerned as I personally would have been," Osbourne said. "I went down there to be, like, 'Hey, you guys want some water anything?' ... They also didn't seem that concerned."

Around the same at Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub, Julia Smith was surprised to see employees suddenly shut the door, turn the lights off and cut the music.

She was told by an employee that there was a shooting outside.

"My friends and I didn't even hear any guns or anything, but other people did. Then all of the staff started rushing everyone downstairs to the basement," Smith said. "There was just like a lot of commotion, a lot of yelling ... it was one of the scariest moments of my life."

Employees hurried everyone outside on to Albert Street about 20 minutes later.

After the evacuation, many patrons decided to stay downtown despite warnings from police, Smith said.

"I was just kind of confused about the way things were being handled in that sense, because I feel like there was a lot more people downtown than there should have been," Smith said. "But it's also one of those situations that you never think that you're gonna experience until you're actually in it."

Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub did not respond to The State News' multiple requests for comment.

ELPD and the City of East Lansing released additional details about the incident earlier this week. Thirty-one bullet casings from three different caliber firearms were found at the scene.

"There does not appear to be an active threat to the public," the release said.

“This is a very serious, unacceptable incident that ELPD is actively investigating. We will leave no stone unturned in uncovering what occurred and identifying the individuals involved," ELPD Capt. Chad Pride said in a statement.

Members of the public with information about the incident are asked to contact Det. Sgt. Tony Fuller at (517)-319-6876.

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