Another violent crime hit the Ann Street Plaza-area of East Lansing’s downtown this weekend, causing a renewed spurt of concern among members of the community. But East Lansing’s Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez told ELi today, “With the information learned thus far in the investigation we do not believe this to have been a random act.”
Gonzalez confirmed that a stabbing occurred early Sunday morning (Sept. 26, 2021) just before 1:30 a.m. He tells ELi, “This incident remains an open and active investigation.”
Says Gonzalez, “A fight occurred near the Ann St. Plaza. During the fight one person was stabbed causing significant, but non-life threatening injuries. The individual’s injuries required transport to the hospital for further care.”
He added, “We have identified a suspect and have that person in custody. Detectives will be presenting the case to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review.”
In late July, as ELi reported, a shooting occurred in the same area. This summer, the area had been seeing so many problems with late-night violence that the “Albert EL Fresco” social space was dismantled partly in response to that concern.
Mayor Jessy Gregg said at the August 10 meeting of Council that ELPD was having to devote resources specifically to the Albert EL Fresco area to deal with the problems, with two or three dedicated officers there several nights a week according to Gonzalez.
Gonzlaez explained to ELi last month that, in the road-closed Albert Avenue social space, officers had been serving “dual roles” of upholding the law and public safety while also building relationships among downtown stakeholders.
“Later into the night and very early morning hours,” Gonzalez told ELi in August, “the officers have been required to give more attention to their public safety roles in preventing or responding to fights, unruly intoxicated subjects, etc.”
But the removal of the social space and restoration of Albert Avenue to a two-way road does not appear to have fully alleviated the problems breaking out.
And downtown is not the only place where ELPD officers are being called to violent confrontations.
In May, a mass shooting at The Quarters apartment complex, on Abbot Road just north of Lake Lansing Road, left six injured. This followed another shooting on Abbot Rd. that occurred on St. Patrick’s Day. ELPD also recently dealt with a case where a woman allegedly fired a gun at a man attempting to stop that woman from allegedly assaulting another woman.
In the two most recent cases, police say the suspects and primary targets were known to each other.
This article was updated at 5:10 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2021, to clarify in which cases the primary targets were known to each other.