Vigil honors slain security guard as father, coach, mentor

Grand Rapids

GRAD RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A vigil was held Monday evening for the security guard shot and killed while working at a Wyoming motel.

John Cain Jr. was gunned down, apparently at random, last week by a man staying at the Grand Rapids Inn on 28th Street SW near Buchanan Avenue. The shooter later took his own life, according to police. 

An undated courtesy photo of John Cain and his daughter.

On Monday, the 38-year-old father and coach was remembered by loved ones who gathered at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids. 

Cain was a mentor to so many in the community, leading his life by example. 

“We all want to thank you for being here for this evening to help us with this homegoing of my son,” John Cain Sr. said to the crowd.

“It just hurts me to lose him,” said the victim’s sister. “Thank you all for coming to support my big brother.”

People shared stories about the type of friend and mentor he was, saying he loved touching lives and making touchdowns. Cain coached football at Grand Rapids Public Schools, using his time to help local kids.

“He’s been a mentor to me as a kid up until I was a grown man,” said one of Cain’s former players. “We just had a conversation on Oct. 18… That was just a good brother.”

His friends said he was always positive and working to find ways to help others.

“When people pass everybody always talks about how good that person was, but it could never be truer,” his uncle said. “Everyone in the city, everyone he touched, would say the same thing.”

Kids in attendance ran a last touchdown in Cain’s honor with the crowd chanting his name. They also released heart-shaped balloons.

“I want to thank everybody who my son loved and who loved my son,” said Cain’s mother Belinda Adkinson. “And I just thank the Lord that he is giving us strength. And I just ask in your everyday life that you say a prayer and make wise decisions that will glorify God.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help cover funeral existences.

Balloons are released at a vigil at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids on Nov. 8, 2021, to honor John Cain Jr., who was shot and killed the week prior.

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