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WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) - A 14-year-old without any prior contact in the juvenile court system made a video court appearance Monday after allegedly killing a 20-year-old man in the front yard of a Walker home. The victim's parents said they plan to grieve with the suspect's family.
24 Hour News 8 is not naming the suspect at this time because he is a juvenile.
In his initial appearance in juvenile court for the homicide, the teen was ordered held without bond and prosecutors asked for a five-day extension to continue their investigation. During the video hearing, the teen's father said, "I love you." His mother, through a court worker, said he had no problems at school.
Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Walker police said, Michael Haminger was shot to death in the yard of a house in the 2300 block of Powers Avenue NW.
Haminger was dead when police arrived.
The teen was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered.
"He's just a kid," Walker Police Det. Brandyn Heugel told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday night. "This is a lose-lose."
Haminger's parents, Doug and Sherry Haminger, said the home was that of his girlfriend's mom. His girlfriend is the sister of the suspect.
Haminger's father Doug told 24 Hour News 8 he and his wife found out their son was dead when his girflfriend, the suspect's sister, called them in hysterics. Doug said he learned his son offered to help the teen with his homework.
"My son asked him... if he had figured out the problem he had had with his homework and he basically blew him off and told him, 'Hey, look, I don't need your help.' Typical 14 year old response," said Doug. "Mikey gave him one of those little taps upside the back of the head saying, 'Whatever, dude, it's your homework. Fine.' And the kid walked out into the driveway and fumbled around in his jacket or his pocket of some sort and started shooting."
A witness told Doug the teen already had the gun and opened fire. Doug told 24 Hour News 8 they were told the hand gun came form the suspect's father's hunting collection.
"I'm told that he was being taught gun safety out in the woods behind their house and this was a pistol he had been allowed to use out there in the back," said Doug. "Nobody knew he had it tucked in his pocket."
The suspect's sister is seven months pregnant with the victim's child.
"We don't have a clue what we were going to tell the grandchildren," said Doug. He went on to say that Michael's family doesn't understand what happened, or why it did. He said he doubts the suspect's family understands it, either.
"We can only commiserate together and hope for the best results for both you know both for both [Michael's girlfriend's] family and her brother and her parents," said Doug.
Dick Blok, a neighbor, told 24 Hour News 8 he saw the teen pull the trigger as Blok sat in a nearby home.
"I seen the young man standing and pointing the gun at another man, and I heard two more 'pop, pops.' I didn't see the second guy no more. He was on the ground," said Blok. "I'm probably the only one that actually saw it."
Another neighbor, who asked to be identified only as Gary, said he heard gunshots and came outside to find his neighbor's son holding a gun.
"And somebody was shot," he said. "I thought I recognized him, because of the red hair, that's it."
Gary told 24 Hour News 8 he has known his next-door neighbors for nearly 20 years.
"They always go to church. They care about a lot of people. I don't know what happened," he said.
And, he said, he had never noticed any trouble from the suspect in the past. "Good kid. Always been a good kid."
"I don't understand why he would even do it," Michael's friend Shannon Potts told 24 Hour News 8. "Why did he even have a gun? That's the big question here. Why did that kid even have a gun, where did he even get it?"
Michael had only a minor criminal record and had a daughter with another woman. But he and the suspect's
sister were expecting soon.
His friends have started a Facebook page called "Justice for Michael Haminger."
"They were so in love,they were like the perfect couple, and it's just ridiculous what she's going through right now," Haminger's friend, identified only as CJ, said. "He was on one of the good guys. Definitely didn't deserve this at all. He was one of the good guys."
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