GH man injured, friend killed in MSU shooting

A Grand Haven man is recovering from a bullet wound to the leg, but he won’t talk about the Friday night shooting that took his friend’s life.
Becky Vargo
Feb 3, 2014

A bullet grazed 20-year-old Corbin Holwerda's leg, but he is able to walk, said his girlfriend, Shealin Saunders, when contacted in New York on Sunday.

Saunders said it was awful to be so far away when such a horrible event happens.

“But he’s surrounded by family and friends,” she said.

Holwerda and his roommate, Dominque “DJ” Nolff, 20, of Middleville, were at their Cedar Village apartment near the Michigan State University campus when the shooting occurred just before 9 p.m. Friday, East Lansing police said.

Nolff was pronounced dead at 9:23 a.m. Saturday from multiple gunshot wounds.

Both men are sophomores and business majors at MSU.

Police said the suspect is also in his 20s and the shooting “does not appear to be a random act.”

Another Grand Haven man, Brad Glasser, also lives at the apartment, but it is unknown whether or not he was there at the time of the shooting, Saunders said.

When contacted on Sunday, Glasser would only say that he knows the victims.

“I don’t really want to talk right now,” he said.

A Lake Odessa resident and an MSU student, Saunders said she has known Nolff since they were in middle school. She met Holwerda when they were both juniors – at about the time Holwerda’s family moved from Middleville to Grand Haven.

“He was happy-go-lucky,” she said of Nolff. “He was always ready to have a good time.”

Saunders said Nolff also had a serious side.

“He was very studious,” she said. “I had a business class with him. He would call me and want to collaborate.”

Saunders said Nolff was a good friend to Holwerda.

“Overall he was just a great person,” she said.

Spring Lake resident Amanda Reid, who said she is friends with the guys, had gone home for the weekend and found out about the shooting around 9:30 p.m.

“I had a weird feeling that it was someone I knew,” she said. “You get to know so many people there.”

Reid, a Lansing Community College student, said she planned to return to her Cedar Village apartment, a couple of buildings away from the shooting.

“It’s still a safe place to live,” she said. “My parents are fine with me there.”

Nolff graduated from Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville, about 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.

Holwerda also attended Thornapple Kellogg before moving to Grand Haven.

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett posted a note to families of the victims on his Facebook page Saturday morning.

"East Lansing residents woke up this morning to another headline about senseless gun violence. This time it was in our own backyard," he wrote. "My thoughts are with the two victims and their families."

The suspect in the MSU case was described as an African-American man in his early 20s.

Call East Lansing Police at 517-351-4220 or Silent Observer if you have any tips.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



A Grand Haven man is recovering from a bullet wound to the leg, but he won’t talk about the Friday night shooting that took his friend’s life.

That sentence is so misleading Becky, I don't see in the story where you even talked to the man that was shot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the one who won't talk about it, is the one who wasn't there. Can we get a real reporter here? please?


I totally agree with you on this and would like to add another sentence Becky must of thought to be vital which is this: "The suspect in the MSU case was described as an African-American man in his early 20s." What does a persons skin color, nationality, or race have to do with anything at all? The answer is, "Nothing"! I have an acquaintance who's from Africa and says he's African-American, however his skin color is White. My point which is obvious to me but perhaps isn't to Becky is, that the description of the suspect could have just as easily read, "The suspect in the MSU case is a male in his early 20's." Adding the persons skin color, race, or nationality is bias to say the very least.

Back to the Wall

quote>What does a persons skin color, nationality, or race have to do with anything at all?

In this case, it reduces the pool of suspects by about 85%


The persons skin color and race is one of the most important parts of a suspect description. For example- Police are looking for Dodge Caravan vs. Police are looking for a blue Dodge Caravan. Big difference in what to look for there. You have lost all common sense in your pursuit of ethnic sensitivity. A persons skin color is more obvious than the color of their eyes, height, weight, or age and is completely necessary when describing someones appearance. Of course it wouldn't take much more ignorance than your statement to go to the redneck end of the stupidity spectrum and assume all murder suspects are minorities.


I don't generally jump on the bandwagon of reporter bashing.... but this was just terrible. It should have been titled "Girlfriend shares emotions that will not help reader whatsoever".


I agree with the above comment the first paragraph is extremely confusing. They never even mention Holwerda's first name, you had to click on the picture to see it.


see, they do read these comments!


"senseless gun violence". Let's ignore the people who pulled the trigger. It's the gun's fault. No doubt a public hanging for the gun is appropriate to people who don't have a clue.


Although you are the only one to bring up 'the gun' here, remember, the black dude didn't use a bow & arrow!

There is just so much more to this story that we aren't privy to. If it wasn't a random shooting and everyone is so happy to go back to those apartments because they are safe...what WAS the black guy after? The great and wonderful dude's homework? I would say probably not.

Beach Gal

Easy access to guns is a contributing factor. We need gun control now.

Tri-cities realist

What about hammers and box cutters, which were use by the escaped convict who was caught in Indiana? Consistency on your part would demand hammer and box cutter control now.


No such thing as African American to begin with...your either American or your not, who the heck cares where you immigrated from,cut the PC crap and quit kidding yourself Williams. The suspect was BLACK and it has everything to do with the color of ones skin in identifying a suspect as' back to the wall pointed out.' I'm WHITE but really I'm a European German Dutch stupid. To fill in the blanks it was a 'DRUG DEAL' IMO. Hey BG,get smart and buy a handgun to protect yourself.


Ladies & gents: we have a winner! LIAMD please contact the NRA with your address so they can send you your new pearl handled glock for your wife!

Former Grandhavenite

I'm generally more on the side of the defendant instead of favoring the law enforcement/prosecution, but I have to agree that skin color is an important part of a suspect's physical description. For better or worse, 'race' (meaning actually skin color in this case), is one of the more distinctive ways that people differ in appearance. It's also something you can't really change the way a suspect could immediately change clothes, shave a beard, etc.


I don't understand why this young man had to loose his life...That's what happens when you don't pay the asking price....

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