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Lansing mayor said he wasn't trying to mislead anyone about shootings

Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 06:35:02-04

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said he wasn't trying to mislead anyone in his statement that he released earlier Tuesday regarding shootings in the city Monday night.

He said the information about the shots being fired on Risdale Avenue simply hadn't worked it's way up the ladder to him when he sent the statement out just before 9:30 a.m. regrading the shooting at Ferris Park.

"We just found out this morning, it wasn't reported last night," Mayor Schor said. "It was reported this morning that there were some bullet holes in a car so we don't really know. The only cameras we have are people's front porch cameras, if they have them. So we'll check and see if there's any video," he added.

Word of the shootings in the city spread across social media on Monday night.

Many were exaggerated, but FOX 47 News is learning that some were accurate and that there were many shots fired.

Misinformation on Facebook and Twitter included people saying there was an active shooter in Lansing.

Police say those were rumors, but a group of neighbors who have bullet-holes in their windows, say otherwise.

"It's definitely not fake," Shadi Haag, whose car window was shot, said.

"We're paying $500 and we have three kids," Christian Ritzler, who also had her car window shot, said.

She lives in the Stonecrest Townhomes on Risdale Avenue, and like her neighbors, woke up to the sound of gunshots around 1:30 a.m.

"We just moved here. It's barely been a month and I already want to move out," a neighbor said.

"We're definitely thinking about moving out of here, going somewhere else," Ritzler said.

Social media exploded with reports of an active shooter in Lansing after a few posts regarding scanner traffic.

Some people said a person was knocking on doors and shooting random people.

"With all that happened in Dayton and El Paso, there's a lot going on right now with gun violence" Mayor Schor said. "So, when you hear rumors and rumors spread like wildfire, that's disappointing because they were unfounded."

"I can't blame anybody for being afraid," Dan Currie, a Lansing resident who was at Mac's Bar when the rumors were flying, said.

"We were about to walk out the door and someone stopped us and told us not to go outside, that there were reports of a shooter. We were kind of in contact with someone at The Avenue, which is the bar closest to us, and they also had brought everyone inside," Currie said.

There was not an active shooter, but a fight did go down on Monday night that resulted in gunfire and one person dying.

It happened atFerris Park.

Police say the victim was not random in that fatal shooting.

MSU Communications Professor David Ewoldsen said it's easy for misinformation to spread on social media,especially at a time when fear is heightened.

"What people always need to do in these situations is to validate the information," Ewoldsen said. "Social media is great in terms of getting information out quickly, but you always want to validate that information."

On Twitter, Kalamazoo Public Safety said they also heard reports of an active shooter in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Police say the post was a "hoax."

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