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  • James Townsend

Four Ionia Men Charged with Assault with Intent to Commit Murder of Portland Man

A few more details about the shooting Monday night at Bogue Flats in Portland emerged today at the arraignment of four Ionia men in 64-A District Court this afternoon. The 18-year-old victim, Kaiden Claflin of Portland, is reported to have suffered a bullet wound in his lower back and underwent surgery at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. No additional details are available about Mr. Claflin but it is believed that he is recovering from his wound.

Police continue to search for the gun that was used in the assault and have reportedly located several bullet casings at the crime scene. Bogue Flats is a popular riverside park in Portland and had a lot of normal activity with bikers and walkers at the time of the shooting. Several residents were able to assist the victim prior to First Responders arriving.

Today, Mason Pfeiffer, 21; Ricardo Martinez-Cruz, 21; Samuel Johnson,17; and Diego Bowerman, 16, were all charged by the Ionia County Prosecutor’s Office with "Assault with Intent to Commit Murder". Bowerman, a minor, is being waived to adult Circuit Court due to the seriousness of the charge and his alleged role in it. One of the men charged today may be facing an additional charge as a habitual offender. All of these men are reported to be Ionia residents. Three other Ionia residents are reported to have traveled with these four men to meet and fight a group of Portland area young men and juveniles at Bogue Flats to settle a dispute. Due to the fact that this is an ongoing law enforcement investigation no other details are available at this time.

The Portland Police Department, Ionia Public Safety, Ionia County Sheriff Department, and the Michigan State Police responded on Monday night and continue to be active in the ongoing investigation. Star Thomas, Portland's Police Chief, briefly addressed the Portland City Council this evening and provided limited details. Thomas reported this type of an event is very rare in Portland as evidenced by the fact that Portland has had only two murders in its history. One of a child in 2012 and the other from the 1870's. Fortunately, the victim of Monday night’s shooting survived.

Normally composed and articulate Mayor Jim Barnes appeared briefly emotionally shaken tonight as he asked Chief Thomas what would cause an event like this to happen here in Portland where we work so hard to build our community. Thomas assured him that this was a very rare event and stated emphatically, "Portland is really safe! We have level of trust in the community and between law enforcement and the community."

Chief Thomas told the Beacon that she contacted both Portland Public Schools and St. Patrick school administration on Monday night and briefed them that the community and schools were not in any danger as a consequence of the shooting.

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