GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are still searching for the person who shot and killed an 18-year-old on July 30.
Terrell Tejeda-Woodard was found with a gunshot wound around 4 a.m. that Saturday morning near College Avenue NE and Fernando Street.
His family and friends laid him to rest on Aug. 10. They are still grappling with his death and how there is still little information about who killed Tejeda-Woodard and why.
“We have no idea what happened. It was like he was somewhere and then he wasn’t and that’s why it’s important we let everyone know that we are really looking for the truth,” the victim’s sister, Reyna Tejeda, said.
Tejeda hadn’t seen or spoken with her brother the day before the shooting but says he was hanging with friends that night not far from where he was found shot.
“He was with a group of friends in the area, stepped out for a minute and just didn’t come back. No one really knew where he went or anything,” she said. “He left around 1 a.m. and he was found around 4 a.m.”
Police haven’t released details about a timeline or a possible suspect.
Tejeda-Woodard’s unexpected death has taken a toll on some of his family members who live in the area where the shooting took place.
“Our family has moved away from the area since just because there were some hesitations about staying around there. it was hard to be in the house where he lived for all of us after the fact,” Tejeda said. “We’ve just been avoiding the area overall. I had to go see that area for my own closure and that was really hard.”
Tejeda described her brother as someone who was very affectionate to those he knew.
“He loved his family. He did everything he could for his family. I think that’s what got him to this point. He thought everyone was his family. He thought everyone was his friend and they weren’t,” she said.
He was her confidant and had a close relationship with his grandmother.
“I’ve been telling everybody he shared a room with his grandma,” she laughed.
Tejeda-Woodard also had a passion for music, something he was heavily involved with over the past few years.
“He had goals and was working on them and saving money and putting money towards videos and recordings. He wanted to buy a building to do these things in. He had big plans,” Tejeda said.
As time passes, the hurt the Tejeda family only grows but they say members of the community have stepped in to offer support.
Tejeda finds comfort in looking through the many photos she has of her little brother and she enjoys listening to his voice through his music.
She said what she will miss most is her brother’s smile and hearing him say “I love you” because she said he was always the first and last person to say those words.
“He was handsome. He was so smart. He was extremely talented. Everybody liked him because he was so likable. He radiated good energy all the time. I don’t know who,” Tejeda said.
The family set a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.
If you have any information about this homicide investigation, you’re encouraged to call Silent Observer at 616.774.2345 or Grand Rapids Police at 616.456.3380.
News 8 records show the city of Grand Rapids has seen 17 homicides so far in 2022, the same as the total for all of 2021.