GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police returned to the scene of a 10-year-old girl’s shooting for a much more pleasant reason Wednesday evening.
They were there to surprise Jayana Floyd with school supplies, new clothes and a new bicycle.
Jayana was shot June 23 while inside of her home on Temple Street west of Kalamazoo Avenue SE. Police have not made an arrest in the case and say a lack of cooperation among witnesses has hampered the investigation.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Pastor James Jones, who is one of the leaders at the Oakdale Park Church across the street from the crime scene. “It disturbed us very much so. We hadn’t had this kind of incident around here for years.”
The incident touched the hearts of responding officers as well, so much so that Grand Rapids Police Department Sgt. Neil Gomez, one of the commanding officers on scene the night of the shooting, decided to make an extra effort to help the young girl.
Gomez posted on his personal Facebook page a call for donations to provide Jayana with gifts. The response was significant. After bringing gifts to Jayana on a few other occasions, the support continued and Gomez brought the big surprise Wednesday.
He got the help of a crime scene technician, who piled gifts and the bike into a GRPD forensics van.
Jayana was ecstatic when they surprised her while she was at vacation Bible school.
She said the gesture made her feel “like they care for me.”
“And they care for what happened to me,” Jayana added. “Thank you for caring for me and thank you for loving me.”
Jayana’s mother Star Price was moved by the officers’ kindness.
“(Sgt. Gomez) has been there for us. Every day when he gets on work, he do come by and check on us and make sure that we’re ok,” Price said as she wiped away tears. “We appreciate it.”
Pastor Jones said he has been amazed at Jayana’s ability to recover. Days after the shooting, she returned to programs at the church and during a craft session made a birdhouse that now hangs from her front porch.
“To see her be able to come back home and then engage back with us and the church and the community speaks volumes of her character and who she is,” Jones said.
Jones watched with a smile as officers surprised Jayana. He said he was just as impressed to see another type of healing in the works.
“To see the police officers surprise her, come looking for her … that speaks volumes to what the law enforcement in Grand Rapids means to this community. And hopefully the relationship that can be healed and mended between the citizens and our police officers,” Jones said. “‘Cause we’ve got some good police officers in our city.”