MSP troopers helping get guns off Benton Harbor streets
BENTON HARBOR, MIch. -- Michigan State Police are continuing their partnership with the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety after getting a handful of guns off the street this summer, including one big sweep of firearms possibly connected to other shootings in the city.
Five Benton Harbor men – Darrell Carter, Terrell Carter, Keeyon Williams, Laquan Gordon and Ramirow Williams – making their first appearances in court Sept. 17 after being arrested when officers found them with multiple firearms and received tips they had another shooting planned for that night.
“The efforts of the additional troopers have been tremendous, they have confiscated an enormous amounts of weapons – long guns, hand guns,” said Lt. Duane Robinson with Michigan State Police.
It’s been a summer of gun violence in Benton Harbor – shootings outside of city hall, plus Orchards Mall and Phillips 66 in Benton Township – all of which officers believe are connected.
The men they believe could be at the center of it, now facing illegal firearms charges after being arrested outside River Terrace Apartments Sept. 3 for illegal possessing eight pistols, four long guns and over 100 rounds of ammunition.
“They ended up confiscating several firearms out of a car they had pulled over and those weapons appeared to be the type that were used in some ongoing investigations,” said Lt. Robinson.
That arrest – police believe thwarted another shooting.
“The major case unit feels very strongly that they were headed to shoot up a house or looking for someone to either retaliate against from some earlier conflicts or trying to avenge a family member of one of the individuals that was actually in that vehicle with those weapons,” said Lt. Robinson.
This comes after the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety requested increased patrols from Michigan State Police due to the uptick in gun violence.
“We know we have stopped some shootings and saved several lives as a result of simply taking those guns out of criminals’ hands. The public has been extremely receptive, they’re happy we responded the way that we did,” said Lt. Robinson.
MSP is planning to keep their troopers in Benton Harbor until they get even more guns off the streets.
“We’re peacekeepers, we’re public servants, our job is to keep the public safe.”
Both MSP and Benton Harbor police are also committed to improving police-community relations with a free ice cream giveaway and Bike with a Cop – focused on building relationships with youth – and have more planned for the future.