Benton Harbor Public Safety Director frustrated by lack of witnesses after mass shooting Monday morning
BENTON HARBOR, Mi. -- Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis is frustrated and disappointed after another mass shooting leaves a young Benton Harbor resident dead.
“This is ridiculous. I’m tired of having our children get killed," he said.
Around 2:19 Monday morning, Benton Harbor police responded to gunfire at Ajay's Lounge on Pipestone Avenue.
According to McGinnis, at least seventy rounds were fired from multiple guns-- which sent seven people to the hospital, wounded.
Nineteen year old Marlon Bowman, a former Benton Harbor honor roll student and football player, was shot multiple times in the chest; he died at the hospital. He had planned on studying at Grand Valley State University in the Fall.
So far, witnesses are reluctant to speak with investigators.
“We had no less than two-hundred people when officers showed up. And not one person—not one person—has stepped up and told what happened," McGinnis said. "Seven people get shot, one person gets killed, and not one person steps up and says what happened. I’m mad as hell.”
He said this kind of apathy from neighbors unwilling to speak to police is only going to perpetuate the violence.
“When we sit back and let people walk around with guns, let them shoot guns in the air and having people being shot—even non-fatally— and the victims don’t say anything, the witnesses don’t say anything, all it does is emboldens these people to do more and more and more," he said.
There is currently a $2,000 reward offered for any new information about this shooting.
McGinnis warned that if the city is going to have any hope at preventing future shootings, people need to talk.
“If the community doesn’t step up and say ‘enough’s enough, I’m tired of having these mothers losing their sons, having their entire life turned upside down,’ and then no one says anything? Come on. That’s not acceptable. I’m mad as hell, that’s not acceptable," he said.
Friends and family plan to release balloons outside Benton Harbor High School in Marlon Bowman's memory.
Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call 269-384-9715.