GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 17-year-old has been charged for allegedly shooting at a Grand Rapids Police Department officer.
On Friday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Arthur Darelle-Jamal Williams was arraigned on assault with intent to murder, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and felony firearm charges. He faces up to life in prison.
Becker noted that Williams is being charged as an adult.
“In terms of the seriousness of offense, I think it’s something we’ve got to do. It’s just not something we just turn the other way and say, well … we’ll leave it as a juvenile,” Becker said.
The prosecutor added two other juvenile males face charges in connection to the shooting. Their names were not released because of their age.
Court documents identified the officer as Theodore VanVliet.
The shooting happened in the early morning hours of June 24 on Prospect Avenue SE near Highland Street. GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom said an officer in a marked cruiser saw an oncoming car without its headlights on. As the vehicles approached one another, the chief said, the other car stopped, a passenger leaned out of the window and started firing at the cruiser with a handgun.
VanVliet returned fire, shooting one time through his windshield. Winstrom said two nearby vehicles were hit by the shooter’s gunfire, not by the officer’s. There were no reports of injuries.
The car took off when the officer shot back, Winstrom said. Another officer in another cruiser soon spotted it, after which there was what Winstrom called a “lengthy” chase that included going on the highway. Though the chase spanned “several miles,” Winstrom said, it ended not far from where it started in the area of Hall Street and Eastern Avenue.
The chief said GRPD is focusing additional resources in car thefts because stolen vehicles are being used more often to commit crimes.
“We’re not going to tolerate that sort of violent behavior, so we are ramping up efforts. We are doing a great job investigating a string of auto thefts,” Winstrom said.
Williams is expected back in court July 19.
—News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder, Joe LaFurgey and Corinne Moore contributed to this report.