BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been a gut-wrenching four days for the family of Xavier West after he was shot and killed by an employee of a downtown Battle Creek club.
Keeia West said the family wants to see the man who killed her cousin charged and serve time.
“I’m waiting for him to call me,” West said, crying. “I’m waiting… because every day he calls ‘Cuddy, how you doing? What are you doing, cuddy?'”
Emotional cries for accountability came from a crowd of family and friends gathered outside the Cricket Club Monday night. Among the loudest was West’s father Walter Nichols III, who is begging for answers.
“Why did you follow those Black men from the time they walked in the door to wherever they went in that club?” Nichols wondered. “They weren’t creating no ruckus.”
The shooting happened in the early hours of Thanksgiving at the Cricket Club on W. Michigan Avenue near Capital Avenue SW. Police say there was some sort of altercation involving customers and security, at which point two shots were fired, hitting West, 29. He died at the hospital.
The family claims the altercation began after one of the bartenders refused to give exact change to customers and gave them attitude. In retaliation, they said, the security guard shot West in the chest twice before yelling, “Get back (N-word).”
“You don’t come up and use lethal force. Lethal force is the last use of force in any kind of altercation,” Nichols said.
The family says security searched all patrons before they entered the bar. They also claim the guard went outside to get his weapon.
“He did not administer first aid to my son when he hit center mass… He did not even call 911,” Nichols said. “He was ready to shoot somebody else. He was ready to take more bodies… defenseless bodies that he checked at the door that he knew didn’t have a weapon.”
The security guard was taken into custody by police for questioning on the day of the shooting and police are reviewing surveillance and bystander video. A spokesperson for the Battle Creek Police Department said Monday it is has not yet been decided if the guard will face criminal charges.
News 8 has yet to hear back from Cricket Club management with comment on the death.
Meanwhile, West’s family is demanding justice for the son, brother, nephew and cousin they called Zay.
“If you wronged someone that he loved, he will be in your corner and have your back to the fullest,” Nichols said.
“It’s family over everything. That was his motto,” Keeia West added. “Everybody he came in contact with… he showed love.”