On Wednesday evening, an unarmed Grand Valley State University (GVSU) student was shot by Ottawa County police during the execution of a search warrant at the Campus View Apartments in Allendale.
The warrant was part of an ongoing drug investigation being conducted by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the West Michigan Enforcement Team (WMET).
Reaon for Shooting Unclear: Student was Unarmed and No Confrontation Ensued
Various media reports citing police spokespeople say that the student–Derek Copp–was shot by an Ottawa County deputy. Initial reports indicate that Copp was shot through an open sliding door as police entered the apartment. The student was unarmed according to state police. Moreover, they say that their initial investigation shows “there was no confrontation as they were coming in. Preliminary investigation shows the subject was not armed and that is all we know at this time.”
No arrests were made.
Following the shooting, Copp was transported to Spectrum Health in downtown Grand Rapids. He is in “serious condition” with potentially life-threatening injuries.” Copp was struck in the chest.
According to Copp’s parents, he did not know what was happening at the time he was shot.
The deputy who fired the shot is currently on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. The deputy is reportedly a 12-year veteran and has been a part of the West Michigan Enforcement Team for two years.
Reports from residents at neighboring apartments also have not cited any sounds of a struggle or confrontation.
GVSU Students Mobilize to Oppose Shooting
Word of the shooting has spread rapidly, with students creating a Facebook group called “Protest for Peace @ GVSU!!!! – In Response to the Shooting of Derek.” Out of that group grew a protest which took place earlier this afternoon on Allendale’s campus.
According to news reports, around forty students gathered on GVSU’s Allendale campus to protest the shooting. Students held signs such as “We Want The Truth,” “Shooting? Why?,” and “Why Was My Friend Shot?.”
GVSU Administration Largely Silent on the Shooting
The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) administration has been silent on the shooting, saying only in statement that a student was injured during the execution of a search warrant.