GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a memorable year for Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom, as he looks to rebound from what he called a “challenging” year.
“Let’s just face it, 2022, April 4th was Patrick Lyoya’s death, that had such a huge impact on the city and me professionally and my boss and the commissioners and everybody,” Winstrom said.
There were 22 people killed last year. That’s three more than in 2021. The city marked a record 38 homicides in 2020.
In the list of homicides in 2022, the ages range from 2 months to 69 years old. According to WOOD TV8 records, at least 10 of those cases remain unsolved.
“It never gets easier,” Chief Winstrom said. “I really want to see that number just disappear.”
Winstrom said reducing domestic-related murders is a priority. Stacey Majewski and Tamiquar Wright were two victims shot and killed by their partners last year.
“We’ve tried to increase our victim witness coordinator program here, where we’re adding individuals just to focus on the domestic violence to make sure that people know that there are options,” he said.
He added it’s important for the department to acquire more staff, emphasizing how it’s going to be critical to their success going forward.
“We got our contract signed from the city commission for our police officers … giving officers a nice pay raise. It puts us up competitively there with other agencies in Michigan,” he said. “Additionally, the commission gave us the authority to use an outside agency to help
with recruiting and branding for the police department.”
As the city braces for what this year will bring, the chief remains optimistic.
“I’m proud of the police department and where we are today. I’m really positive about 2023. It’s going to be our year,” he said.
Chief Winstrom thanked the community for their support last year and hopes that continues.
HOMICIDES IN GRAND RAPIDS IN 2022
- Jan. 15: Baby Daylin Muhammad was found not breathing at a home on Burton Street SW near Division Avenue. He died at the hospital on Jan. 31. His father, Abdullah Muhammad, was charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse on June 30.
- Feb. 5: 1-year-old baby’s death was ruled suspicious. Alex John Radulovic has been charged with one count of felony murder and one count of first degree child abuse.
- Feb. 5: 19-year-old Jayson Large was shot and killed near Hall Street and Phillips Avenue SW.
- April 4: GRPD officer shot and kills Patrick Lyoya, 26, during a “lengthy fight.” Officer Christopher Schurr has been charged with second-degree murder.
- May 1: Stacey Majewski was killed at Stonebrook Townhomes near Plymouth Avenue and Leonard Street NE. Suspect Khalil Yusef Ali Childrey has been charged with open murder and felony firearm.
- May 14: Jakwon Jarrell Mills, 18, was shot at Kalamazoo Avenue and 44th Street SE. A second person was injured.
- May 15: William Hannah, 40, was shot and killed on MLK Street at Geneva Avenue.
- May 24: Naquie Malik Mitz, 24, was shot and killed downtown on Cherry Street at Division Avenue. The suspect, identified as Jeffrey Craig, was arrested in Illinois. He faces a murder charge.
- May 28: 13-year-old Gabriel Hojnacki was shot and killed by another 13-year-old while playing with gun. The other teenager faces a careless discharge causing death charge, while the teenager’s grandfather has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for leaving a handgun in a place accessible to children.
- May 30: Marcell Depriest Ross, 30, was shot and killed on Dallas Avenue between Fisk Road and Hall Street.
- June 5: Armonie Acklin, 25, was shot and killed in downtown; three others were injured. Suspect Genesis Lewis has been charged with second-degree murder.
- June 6: Richard Jekel, 69, was killed on Horton Avenue near Division Avenue. Devon Matthews has been charged with open murder.
- June 14: Charles James, 64, was found dead after house fire at Bridge Street NW near Garfield Avenue. Tyeshia Minor has been charged with first-degree arson and felony murder.
- June 23: Tony Vaughn, 58, and Freddie Lusk, 58, were shot and killed at MLK Street SE and Eastern Avenue.
- July 4: Ja’Juan Webb, 16, was shot while riding his bike in the area of Leonard Street and College Avenue. Suspect Brandon Bechtold was arrested in Georgia and has been charged with murder.
- July 30: Terrell Woodard, 18, was found dead with a gunshot wound at College Avenue NE between Curtis Street and Brenner Street around 4 a.m.
- Aug. 27: Dacarri Brown, 22, was shot and killed on Stewart Street SW.
- Sept. 4: Jose Garcia Rivas, 31, was shot and killed. A woman was shot and injured at La Petite Chateau on S. Division Avenue near 28th Street.
- Oct. 11: Tamiqua Wright, 30, was shot and killed by her passenger in her car at Eastern Avenue and 44th Street. The suspect was later identified as her ex-boyfriend Patrick Jones. GRPD says he shot and killed himself after a “running gun battle” with officers.
- Oct. 19: Santino Ysasi, 46, was found dead at former Saint James campus on Bridge Street.
- Dec. 26: Mya Kelly, 23, was shot and killed in a house at Canton Street SW and Division Avenue. She was shot in front of her two young children, police say.
— News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.