GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The mother of 22-year-old Douglas Ryan Pollok says the man who killed her son in 2007 stole at least 58 years from her only son and she wanted a sentence to match that theft.
“Throughout the last eight years I have cried more times than I can count,” said Brenda Roos.
The judge heard her Wednesday, April 13, and sentenced the killer to life in prison.
A month ago, 28-year-old Juan Reyes was found guilty of second-degree murder, attempted murder and felony use of a firearm.
His older brother, Eric Santiago, 31, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and testified against his brother.
Santiago was sentenced to one year in prison as part of a plea deal, despite requests from family members that he receive a harsher sentence.
The shootings started around 2 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2007, when Santiago was driving a gold 1997 Cadillac around north Wyoming, looking for alleged rival gang member Angel DeLucas.
The Cadillac chased a red minivan through the parking lot of what was then a BP Gas station at Burton Street and Clyde Park Avenue.
DeLucas told police that Santiago was firing shots at him. Gas station video shows people ducking out of the way of shots that shattered the window.
No one was injured in that incident, but not long after, the car drove past a birthday party in the 700 block of Cutler Street SW, about two blocks from the gas station, just over the border into Grand Rapids.
Witnesses said the car pulled up and occupants demanded to know where the van was. Then one person shot in the air and another began firing into the crowd of about 20 people at the birthday party.
The shots killed 22-year-old Pollok, a Grandville High School graduate who was planning to get married within a year.
Jesse McDowell, who was shot in the arm, testified that he saw Reyes at the scene, but did not see who actually fired the fatal shots.
After the shootings in 2007, the brothers fled to Guadalajara, Mexico where they managed to evade capture using aliases until FBI agents and Mexican law enforcement caught up with them last summer.