KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is trying to figure out who is responsible for shooting and killing a 17-year-old Wednesday afternoon.
The shooting happened just before 3 p.m. near Stockbridge Avenue and James Street. The victim has been identified as Markii Jerrell Robinson Jr.
KDPS Chief David Boysen said Thursday that investigators did not yet know if Robinson was the intended target. They believe he was with a group that had longstanding disagreements with another group, members of which fired the shots.
“We just ask, please let us do our job, let us investigate this. The detectives and officers are working very hard to solve this and as we speak, they’re out there tracking down leads. And we just don’t want people to take this into their own hands and make a bad situation worse and have additional shootings because of this tragic event,” Boysen said.
After the shooting, officers released a description of a stolen car with Indiana plates.
“Later that evening … they reported a car fire out in Richland Township,” Boysen said. “Apparently, someone tried to light that car on fire to destroy the evidence.”
The police chief said police are seeing more disagreements end in gunfire.
“We need the community and residents and everyone working with us, working together. If there is a youth at risk out there … engaging in dangerous behavior, we need to intervene before it gets to a 17-year-old who is now deceased,” Boysen said.
Markii’s mother Chintae Williams spoke with News 8 just hours after the shooting, calling for the violence to stop. She said her son was a good student who cared for his family.
“I’m going through a lot right now but I definitely have a second to take to tell you all: Life gets better,” she said. “We have to encourage these young men to be the best young men they can be because nobody else is going to encourage them to do that.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call KDPS at 269.337.8139 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.