GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids police say a U.S. Army reservist shot to death was killed by his brother.
Mahdi Hayes, Jr., 20, was found shot to death in an alley near Prince and Henry streets SE on Dec. 20, 2012.
The Kent County Prosecutor's Office authorized a two-count felony warrant against Hayes's brother Royale Gold Runyon, 18, for charges of open murder and felony firearm in connection to the case, GPRD Chief Kevin Belk said at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
"There was some issue between them and what the actual motives are, those are things that, obviously, we'll have to deal with in the trial process," Belk said. "We believe beyond a reasonable doubt that he's responsible for that death."
Runyon was arrested Dec. 21, 2012 on an unrelated charges of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, assault with intent to commit armed robbery and felony firearm. One shot was fired in that incident, Belk said, but no one was hurt. Runyon has been in the Kent County jail since then.
Hayes's father John Gibbons told 24 Hour News 8 that he still considers the case unsolved because he thinks someone else had to be involved.
"If (Mahdi's brother) did it, it was because he had a gun to his head," Gibbons said.
Gibbons said Hayes and Runyon were very close and that Hayes would do anything for his brother.
Belk said that investigators from GRPD and the Kent County Prosecutor's Office worked on the case "diligently" also utilized investigative subpoenas in the investigation into Hayes's death. Belk said those subpoenas are "helpful and necessary" as well as "effective," but can also be time-consuming.
Runyon was charged with perjury in connection to the case on Feb. 22. Authorities say he lied to investigators on Feb. 16.
Runyon is already scheduled to go to trial on the assault, armed robbery, felony firearm and perjury charges on Sept. 16. Arraignment on the murder charge and new felony firearm charge is scheduled for Friday.
Hayes's murder was among nine homicides between mid-December and mid-January in the City of Grand Rapids. Three remain unsolved: Those of Robyn Griggs-Johnson, Eve'Vana Galloway and Gregory Woods, Jr.
Hayes was an ex-boyfriend of Galloway, Belk said, and Runyon is a "strong suspect" in that homicide, as well. Belk declined to comment further on that case because it remains under investigation and Runyon has not been charged with that crime.
He said investigators continue to look into the deaths of Woods and Griggs-Johnson.
"These cases have not been forgotten," Belk said. "We still have good, solid leads on the open investigations."
Belk, as he has in the past, stressed the importance of community members working with authorities to keep the city safe.
"When people have information about dangerous individuals in our community, it is imperative for them to come forward, to cooperate, to do the right thing," Belk said.
==Watch Chief Belk's press conference above.==
Hayes's father Gibbons is concerned the violence in Grand Rapids will continue this summer.
"It's not going to end. That's my concern," Gibbons said.
Hayes's family told 24 Hour News 8 during our February Beyond the Violence special that they adopted him when he was 13 years old, and had a tough time keeping him on the right track.
Anyone with information on the open cases is asked to contact GRPD at 616.456.3604 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
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