GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As Grand Rapids police work to piece together the details of a Fourth of July shooting that killed a teenager, a neighbor is sharing his account of what happened moments before the gunfire started.
Roger Pickard lives across Leonard Street from where the shooting happened. He was sitting on his porch with a friend when he spotted a young man walking towards College Avenue around 3:40 p.m. Monday.
“We seen one guy walk by and then a couple minutes later we seen three guys on bikes come up to the guy that was walking,” Pickard said.
Pickard and his friend say the young men on bicycles were wearing ski masks. Pickard said they were calling out to the person that was walking down the street. Pickard says when the riders finally caught up with the pedestrian, the situation escalated.
“When they all stopped over there, we didn’t know what was going on. We heard the popping, like four to five pops and all of a sudden you hear all of the squad cars,” he said. “They dropped their bikes and they all ran after the shots.”
Pickard believes the young man who was initially walking down the street ran away from the scene. Pickard said that young man was wearing a backpack.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom says the teenager who died was one of the people on the bicycles. The victim was found shot to death between two homes on Leonard Street.
A family member told News 8 the victim was a 16-year-old boy whose mother lives in the area. However, police haven’t released the victim’s name or age.
Family members that arrived at the scene were screaming and in tears. One relative was heard saying, “They took my baby from me.”
“I’m really surprised. My heart goes out to the family for their loss. It’s tragic somebody that young was killed. I’m devastated with all of the gun violence and everything that is going on nowadays,” Pickard said.
Winstrom says witnesses to the shooting are cooperating with the investigation. However, no one was in custody for the shooting as of Monday night.
The Grand Rapids Police Department’s Major Case Team is handling the incident. Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact GRPD detectives at 616.456.3380 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.