Routine errands turned into a scary experience at a local post office after a man carrying two guns walked into the building.
"What I heard was really loud and kind of angry,” Postmaster, Barb Kiehborth said. “So I really, I think my first instinct was that we were being robbed."
The post office in Grand Haven on Washington Avenue wasn't robbed. Instead, a man, said to be 42-year-old Muskegon resident George Covington, with a hand gun and pellet gun had walked into the building with the guns tucked in his clothes. Police responded after a witness called in at about 5:30 Tuesday night.
"They had observed one of the suspects pick up two firearms and place those into his pockets,” Captain Rick Yonker of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said. “[He] ultimately went into the post office."
Kiehborth was sitting at her desk when police arrived. She heard loud noises from the lobby and when she opened her office door, she was startled by what she saw.
"There was a man laying face down on the ground, and he had just gotten down on the ground,” said Kiehborth. “There was a police officer from Grand Haven who was about five feet behind him with a rifle pointed over him."
Kiehborth then immediately escorted customers and employees to a safe part of the building. The incident was initially reported at Chase Bank next door around 5:15 p.m., when someone from the office there called to tell police about three suspicious men driving in the area.
"Officers cited that vehicle, having to do with a driving violation,” Captain Yonker said. “The van was at that point impounded."
After their vehicle was impounded the men walked next door. And at least one entered the post office with a gun. Kiehborth says she's happy no one was hurt. Wednesday morning she reminded all of the post office employees of their security policy.
“It kind of gave me an opportunity to reinforce those rules," she said.
Covington was arrested and taken from the post office is being held at the Ottawa County Jail. Thursday, he was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor, including felon in possession of a firearm, narcotic possession less than 25 grams and possession of marijuana.
Covington is being held in Ottawa County Jail on $5,000 bond.
(Jonathan Seely contributed to this report)