Lansing BB Gun Shootings On The Rise

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The number of reported BB gun shootings continues to rise.

A shooter or shooters are targeting cars throughout the city now. On Friday there were about 30 reports since early March, and that number more than doubled over the weekend.

"We woke up, went out there, and seen our van window smashed in," Danielle Bailey said.

Bailey lives on Fairview Street near Kalamazoo Street, and her back windshield was shot with a BB gun overnight this past weekend. She can't afford to get it fixed, but Bailey is more worried about things escalating.

"I was nervous, I thought they were going to come to our house and do it to our house windows," Bailey said. "I have a daughter, so my first reaction was call the cops."

Lansing cops have received more than 75 reports just like Bailey's all over the city. Police believe it could be up to four people shooting at cars from a moving vehicle who are responsible, usually between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

"It's very dangerous here. It may be a funny prank to whoever's doing this or to the many people doing this, however, it's a very serious issue as far as not only for law enforcement, but also an intended victim," Lansing Police Officer Robert Merritt said.

Lansing police have increased patrols, and hope the community will increase its communication. Merritt said the key to solving this rash of vandalism will be tips and eye witness information from the public.

"We're bringing out more uniform officers and more in the cars, and for that matter, more actually hitting the pavement," Merritt said. "We've got some officers out walking and trying to talk and get some dialogue with the community."

He said people should call police right away if they notice something suspicious in the neighborhood. On Fairview Street, they have their own self-proclaimed watchdog in Dan Killian.

"If I do see something wrong, I do come outside, and make my presence aware," Killian said. "Everybody knows if I do see something, I'm coming out."

Killian lives across the street from Bailey, and now they're both being a little more careful with their cars, too.

"Now we pull our cars up right close to our house," Killian said.

A few homes and businesses have been hit as well, but police believe the shooter or shooters simply missed the vehicles that were the main target.

Safelite Auto Glass Repair on Pennsylvania Ave. has been handling many of the victims' cars. It offers plastic coverings and full repair services.

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