Grand Valley student shot for Smoking Weed

And yes, he was unarmed. Apartment neighbors of Grand Valley State University student Derek Copp say they cannot fathom what prompted police to shoot him late Wednesday in a drug-related raid…

The 20-year-old student was in serious condition at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.

Copp, a Spring Arbor native, has been at GVSU since 2007, the same year he graduated from Jackson Community College, according to his page on Facebook. He identifies himself as “a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal,” who is seeking a film and video degree.

Copp plays the guitar and often volunteers at music festivals to see favorite bands for free, the social networking page states.

Putra described the wounded student as a “real nice guy” who was easy going. He said people would “come and go” to the apartment often, particularly last fall.

Still, he wondered why the student was shot.

“It must have been something more than just weed,” he said.

Police said five officers with the West Michigan Enforcement Team, a regional drug unit, executed a search warrant on the apartment about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

An Ottawa County sheriff’s detective assigned to WEMET fired one shot at the student, hitting him in the upper right chest. The student was unarmed, but police would not say whether they thought he posed a threat or what happened during the raid. The 12-year veteran deputy is on paid leave pending an investigation.

Michigan State police Lt. Cameron Henke also refused to disclose whether police found any drugs in the apartment.

Brian Gardner, owner of Campus View Apartments, said such an incident has never happened in the complex’s 42-year history. He described the complex as a quiet place where many of the university’s more studious students live.

“This was just a once-in-a-blue-moon incident,” he said.

He said students who live there sign a “no party” agreement that prohibits kegs and essentially classifies any gathering of more than eight people as a party.

“That’s why it’s so disappointing this happened,” he said.


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