Battle Creek Police Hold News Conference on Cricket Club Shooting
Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker held a press conference, Wednesday afternoon, concerning the shooting at the Cricket Club, early Thanksgiving morning, in Battle Creek.
Just after midnight, a fight broke out between patrons of the club and security staff. During the fight a security guard fired his weapon, killing 29-year-old Xavier West. Chief Blocker said the security guard was legally armed while working for the club. West was unarmed, at the time of the shooting.
The scene of the shooting was chaotic, as hundreds of frightened bar patrons fled the club, as officers arrived. During the panic, responding law enforcement and emergency crews were trying to determine whether there was an active shooter at the scene, was the shooting a vendetta hit, and was the shooter still in the club?
The incident began at 12:02 a.m. on the second floor of the club, located at 34 West Michigan. Cricket Club security entered a brawl, which quickly escalated. Video footage shows that during the brawl, a security guard was working the front door when he was allegedly assaulted and knocked to the floor. Multiple people continued the assault. While prone to the ground, the guard drew his weapon and fired, hitting West.
A Battle Creek Police officer was on foot patrol, in the neighborhood, when he heard the shots fired inside the club. He attempted to enter the rear of the building but was unable to enter the second interior door due to the number of people attempting to flee the scene. He finally was able to enter the club, where he saw West, lying on the floor, surrounded by a group of people who were visibly upset. The officer pushed his way through the crowd and assessed the victim’s wounds and began to render aid until paramedics arrived. West was transported to Bronson hospital, where he died a short time later.
Chief Blocker said that the exact number of patrons at the club is yet to be determined, but video footage, taken inside the club, and officer observations, estimates the crowd to be in the hundreds.
Investigators continue to look into several factors in the shooting and encourage anyone who was at the Cricket Club, at the time of the shooting, to call the Battle Creek Police Department at 269-966-3322 or Silent Observer at 269-781-0911.