GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The owners of The B.O.B. have released a statement regarding the three falling deaths that have occurred at the popular Grand Rapids venue since 2009.
Kevin O'Brien, 36, died Monday after falling four stories in a stairwell on Sunday. In April, 21-year-old Zachary Bunting died after a fall from the same story. In 2009, Tylor Usher died after falling 30 feet in the same stairwell.
In the statement posted late Tuesday on The B.O.B.'s Facebook page, the Gilmore family -- of the Gilmore Collection, which owns The B.O.B. -- said their "hearts and prayers go out to all of the friends and family members of Kevin O'Brien and Zachary Bunting."
The statement goes on to say that "never in a million years could we ever conceive of the horrible tragedies that have occurred."
"Unfortunately, we have learned through the investigations is that two of the tragedies were the result of people making poor personal decisions," the statement reads in part.
The statement then references Grand Rapids Police investigations that revealed Usher may have attempted to jump from rail to rail while racing his brother when he fell and that Bunting was attempting to slide down the railing.
It notes that GRPD continues to investigate O'Brien's fall.
"The safety and security of our guests and employees has been and will remain our top priority. We love all of our patrons and our city very much. We see these situations as a tremendous loss for the families, friends and the community as a whole," the statement concludes.
The full statement from the Gilmore family:
On behalf of the staff of The B.O.B and The Gilmore Collection, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the friends and family members of Kevin O'Brien and Zachary Bunting.
When we founded The B.O.B In 1995 we wanted to create something unique and fun and bring the community together in an urban setting. As we look back over the past 17 years, we have had the opportunity to create jobs for over 220 great staff who have actually had the chance to become friends with many of our patrons.
Throughout this time we have had the opportunity to serve over 8 million guests. We have also been honored to give back to this great community of ours through countless donations, fundraisers and events like Soup's On and Laughfest. The goal of the B.O.B. becoming a destination in our city and helping attract people to our downtown, has been achieved.
Never in a million years could we ever conceive of the horrible tragedies that have occurred. Unfortunately, what we have learned through the investigations is that two of the tragedies were the result of people making poor personal decisions. The most recent tragedy is still under investigation by Grand Rapids Police.
We are grateful to the first-responders and the Grand Rapids Police Department for the thorough, professional work they have done under sad circumstances.
Grand Rapids Police have told us that their investigations have shown:
In 2009 a young man was racing his brother down the stairwell and fell when he jumped across trying to beat his brother.
In April of 2013 Zachary Bunting decided to "ride" the rail and he went over the edge in the process.
Authorities are still investigating what led to Kevin O'Brien's death.
The B.O.B continues to meet all building requirements and codes of our city. We have recently begun to explore some possible layout changes, and will continue to do so. Whatever adjustments may come of this, we know not all accidents or personal decisions that lead to tragedy can be prevented.
The safety and security of our guests and employees has been and will remain our top priority. We love all of our patrons and our city very much. We see these situations as a tremendous loss for the families, friends and the community as a whole.
Please join us in extending our deepest sympathies to their family and friends.
The Gilmore Family
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