It happened around 12:45 a.m. Friday when the judge was arriving at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1716 Sixth St., for a late-night prayer vigil. The judge — 80-year-old Thomas Linck — had just parked his car in the lot on the southwest corner of Sixth and Dale Avenue when the suspect approached, gun in hand, and demanded the judge's wallet.
When Linck refused to give up his wallet, the suspect began firing at him, but police said the judge was not hit.
An off-duty Muskegon police officer was inside the church for the vigil and heard the gunshots outside. He found the judge at the secured entrance to the church and got him inside to safety, then called 911 for help.
Arriving officers found the suspect a block away and took him into custody. Linck later identified the man as the person who tried to rob him. Officers also recovered the suspect's gun.
The 27-year-old suspect is facing charges of felonious assault and armed robbery. Police are not releasing his name until he appears in court.