GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Bridget Shumpert and her family had just piled into her Chevy Equinox Thursday night after watching her granddaughter graduate from Crossroads Alternative High School. Suddenly, as she was waiting in line to leave the East Kentwood High School parking lot, a gun battle broke out all around her.
Witnesses to the shooting that injured two people told News 8 that they heard 20 to at least 30 shots.
“They were shooting like a guy on this side of my car,” Shumpert said, pointing to the passenger’s side of her SUV, “and somebody on the other side shooting at this guy on the other side.
“I don’t know who was with who or what was going on. I just thought that I was stuck in the crossfire. I was stuck,” she said.
“They were like shooting back and forth over the car,” she said.
She closed her eyes and ducked in the driver’s seat. Others in her car also ducked, including her granddaughter’s other grandma, who had come from California for the ceremony.
“I heard the gunfire and I smelled the gunfire,” Shumpert said. “I had never smelled gun smoke before, but it was right over my car.”
She says she heard at least 20 shots.
“I was scared to open my eyes because I was so scared of what I was going to see,” she said. “Once I opened my eyes, I heard all the gunfire stop.”
She sped away. On her way out, somebody told her about the bullet hole in her right front fender.
The shot missed the grandmother in the passenger seat by a couple feet.
“She could have lost her life,” Shumpert said.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department says it appears as many as five people from two different groups exchanged gunfire. Deputies found at least four types of rounds from automatic weapons.
Another witness, who didn’t want to be identified fearing retaliation, said she heard at least 30 shots.
“We’re there on one of the most beautiful days in our eyes, my daughter’s graduation,” the woman told News 8.
The shooting started as they were leaving the football stadium.
“You don’t know where the gunshots are coming from; you don’t know who they’re coming from; you don’t know anything,” she said. “All you know to do is to take cover.”
She and her family hit the ground, finding protection behind a 2-foot cement wall.
“It was just families everywhere with children and everybody, when those gunshots went off, everybody jumped to the ground, if not, they fell to the ground, in hopes of not getting shot,” she recalled. “I wasn’t close to that wall, so me personally, I had to fall on the ground and roll over to the wall, where most people were.”
Her 11-year-old son’s father shielded the boy with his body while her 20-year-old son crawled over to check on an elderly woman and on a young woman with a baby.
“Gunshots were still being fired at that time,” she said.
“Those kids worked very hard to get to where they were, and that was my daughter’s day, that was her big day,” she said. “It had to be youth to do something like that and pick such a beautiful moment to target.
“I’m tired, a lot of parents are tired, we’re just tired of seeing this, tired of hearing about it,” she added. “Things need to stop.”