Anyone in an abusive relationship who needs help can call the national domestic violence helpline at 800.799.7233.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are asking for your help finding the man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend last month.
For weeks now, police have been looking for 30-year-old Patrick Jones for the murder of Tamiqua Wright. But on Monday, they announced his name to the public because they need help from the community to bring him to justice.
“The reason we’ve released his image and his name at this point and time is because we need help finding him,” Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom told News 8 on Monday afternoon. “Somebody who’s watching right now knows where this individual is, and we need to bring him to justice.”
Winstrom said that around 1 a.m. on Oct. 11 in southeast Grand Rapids, Jones was in the car with Tamiqua Wright.
“They had a domestic relationship previously,” Winstrom said.
“Long story short, he shot her,” Winstrom said. “He executed her.”
Winstrom said after the fatal shooting, the car crashed at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and 44th Street SE. Jones ran off, and he hasn’t been seen since.
Wright leaves behind five children. The youngest is a 7-month-old girl.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking that he would just in cold blood kill the mother of five children, including a 7-month-old,” Winstrom said.
On Monday, Wright’s cousin told News 8 the family remains devastated, and they want Jones off the street. She said Wright is the fourth family member they have lost to gun violence.
“I hope we’re not to the point where we get numb to it,” Winstrom said. “I hope that there’s always outrage to that. Because one death to gun violence, you should be outraged over. The fact that this family has seen so much is just absolutely heart breaking.”
Jones has been charged with open murder. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Jones has a long criminal record, including convictions for domestic violence, assault, home invasion and robbery.
Jones is currently absconding on parole from the Michigan Department of Corrections in a separate incident, a release from GRPD said.
“He has a very violent background,” Winstrom added. “He was on parole for home invasion as well as aggravated assault and felony larceny. He’s a very dangerous person, and we consider him to be armed and dangerous at this time.”
With another life lost to domestic violence in Michigan, Winstrom said it’s a reminder to break the cycle as the issue continues to devastate our communities.
“Individuals like this, they have a history, they have a pattern of domestic violence,” Winstrom said. “Breaking that cycle of violence is important to make sure things like this don’t happen again.”
Winstrom reiterated that help from the community can make the difference to bring justice for Wright.
“We’ve been doing interviews, we’ve used all the law enforcement resources that we’ve had, and we’ve come up empty,” Winstrom said. “He’s getting money from somewhere. He’s getting shelter. He’s getting food. Someone knows where he is. Someone’s protecting him. Someone’s sheltering this individual.”
“It’s difficult for more than one person to keep a secret,” Winstrom added. “So we’re quite sure there are numerous people that know right now where this killer is. And we would hope that someone does the right thing and wants to cooperate.”
If you know anything about Wright’s death, call the GRPD Detective Unit at 616.456.3380, the MDOC Absconder tip line at 844.362.8477 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
— News 8’s Michael Oszust contributed to this report.