“Two of them were in possession of BB guns. One of them had a Glock that looked just like what I carry on my hip. Had he pointed it at me – you know what I mean.” Jackson County Sheriff Deputy Darren Shackelford
By John Hummer
Photo above by Alexander Shatar
Three juveniles, ages 15-17, all reportedly from Grass Lake, have been charged with felonies after threatening a student at Grass Lake High School on Nov. 19, said Jackson County Deputy Darren Shackelford in his report to the Grass Lake Village Council on Tuesday, Dec. 21. They were charged on Monday, Dec. 20.
“Three juveniles sent a Snapchat video to a student at the high school with an [air] gun that they had taken the tip off that looked like a real one and said ‘We’re coming to get you,’” Shackelford said. He stated that the Snapchat video was then reported to the school, and officials there contacted him. Shackelford is the assigned deputy to the Village of Grass Lake and Grass Lake Charter Township.
The suspects proceeded to walk from Simpson Street to the high school area, Shackelford noted. “They never actually entered the campus but they were on the grounds and were told to leave by the principal and assistant principal. Shackelford caught up with them on South Street.
“Two of them were in possession of BB guns,” he said. “One of them had a Glock that looked just like what I carry on my hip. Had he pointed it at me – you know what I mean.” (more below)
Shackelford noted that in Michigan, the law was recently changed so 18-and-over are now charged as adults. Those 17 and under are now considered juveniles. Seventeen-year-olds were previously charged as adults.
Shackelford reported that another incident occurred at Grass Lake Middle School on Dec. 15 when a threat was reported. “That was not an actual valid threat but a threat was reported,” he said. “We had three deputies at the middle school for a child that allegedly made a threat that he was going to ‘shoot the school.’”
Both the high school and middle school cases are still open, Shackelford said.
Shackelford stated that the recent Oxford school shooting has law enforcement watching even more closely than they were before. “Anytime there is even a statement of [a threat], you’re probably going to get the full resource of the sheriff’s department.”
Three board members – Joel Grimm, Gina Lammers, and Jane Fitzgerald – verbally expressed their appreciation for Shackelford’s work at the school. (more below)
Speeding still an issue in Grass Lake
The issue of speeding in the Village of Grass Lake has been a regular topic coming up at village council meetings, which again came up at their Dec. 21 meeting. Deputy Shackelford addressed the current state of speeding in the village.
“I partner with the state police a lot for the trucks that bypass the scales [on I-94],” Shackelford said. “The trucks coming down Michigan Avenue – most of those are in-state travel. When I’m doing radar enforcement, when they come through town, I don’t really see them speeding that much.”
Shackelford said the problem lies with the locals who drive passenger vehicles. “Half of them are township and village residents – that’s 90 percent of the people I stop,” he stated. “It’s not people from outside the community saying ‘I don’t know the speed limit.’ It’s people that live here that just don’t care about the speed limit. I write them when I get them. The courts are loving the ticket revenue – I can tell you that.”
Council member Jane Fitzgerald suggested a public relations campaign is needed to slow down the speeders in Grass Lake.