Ypsilanti residents offer narratives from night of shooting
Ariel Fores-Klein woke up from a nap Friday evening to the sound of a neighbor pounding on her door and screaming. She thought it was part of a dream. But when she looked out the window of her apartment on Lowell Street and saw police had swarmed the area, she realized something was wrong.
“I’ve never seen that many cops in one spot in my life,” she said. “I just got a really bad vibe.”
She called a neighbor and learned what most Eastern Michigan University students had been told by text and email: Three people had been shot, and the shooter was still at large.
“It was really nerve wracking because I was here alone during all of it,” she said. “I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Before any alerts were sent out and before Fores-Klein had woken from her nap, EMU sophomore, Andre White, was in his stepfather’s car parked along Jarvis Street with one of the victims in his backseat, awaiting the paramedics after White had called 911.
“The cops were on the scene so quickly,” White said. “It was about 30 seconds after I called.”
White had been on his way to Downing Hall, when he saw the victim running across the street, bleeding from his torso and screaming that he had been shot.
“I never thought that something like that would actually happen that close,” White said. “It’s still kind of frightening.”
Fores-Klein’s roommate, EMU student Julia Thompson, was working as a waitress in Ann Arbor when she found out what happened.
Thompson said her first concern was for the safety of her friends and neighbors.
“As soon as I got a free minute, I was on the phone,” she said.
Thompson is one of many students who live in the apartments and houses that line Lowell Street and Jarvis Street in the area near where the shooting occurred.
Allison Jones, an EMU student who lives at Jarvis Apartments, was working at Ann Arbor Dance Classics when a close friend called to make sure she was safe. After that, she relied on EMU’s safety alerts for information.
“Not hearing anything about the incident was probably the worst thing,” she said.
Jones was immediately worried for her roommate, neighbors and boyfriend. She called them to make
sure they were safe.
Nicole Downer and her fiancé Mark Binkowski live next door to Jones and were on their way to see a movie when she called them.
“We were worried about coming home,” Downer said.
Despite that, she lives on the same block that the shooting took place. Downer said she struggled to find out what happened and whether it was safe for her to go home.
“The only text that we had received was that there was a shooting,” she said. “It wasn’t until I got home and checked my email that I knew what was going on”.
Upon returning to their apartment, the couple tried, and failed, to get information from the police on the scene.
“There was a police officer sitting in his car on the side of the road, and I went to talk to him,” Binkowski said. “He didn’t say anything to me.”
Having lived in the area for more than a year, Downer said she was used to hearing about shootings, but one had never happened so close to where she lived.
“Usually you hear about shootings around here, but it’s in the neighborhoods down farther,” Downer said. “When it’s right off of campus like that, right by where you live…it’s scary.”
Binkowski said he feels lucky to have avoided the situation.
“I have a night class where I would be crossing that intersection at 8:30 at night,” he said. “Knowing that I could have been one of those people, it’s a scary thought.”
Despite how frightening the ordeal was, White said he thinks everything “definitely could have been a lot worse.”
“I’m just glad that I wasn’t hurt, that none of my friends were, and that the people that were, are alright,” he said.
For some, the shooting has been cause to rethink their living situation. Fores-Klein and Thompson are planning to find a new apartment in the fall.
“It’s cheap here,” Thompson said. “That’s nice. But we’re probably not going to live here. I’d much rather have safety over convenience.”
Other students plan to stay.
“I feel relatively safe,” Jones said. “This kind of thing can happen anywhere.”
Downer and Binkowski also have no plans to move except “across the street in a couple of months.”
Unfazed, Downer said that incidents like Friday’s shooting are something “you just kind of get used to.”
“It’s Ypsi,” Downer said. “You’ve just got to watch out for yourself.”