GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two men arrested are believed to be responsible for a killing, four armed robberies and a car theft in metro Grand Rapids — a crime spree that lasted five hours, Kent County authorities say.

It ended with a chase and crash in the early hours of Wednesday.

Joseph Wilder, 50, of Kentwood, was a married father of three. He worked as a truck driver and was the director of his church choir.

“He was easy to love. He had a lot to give,” Wilder’s brother Phillip Wilder said. “I think I cried all my tears out. I’m just numb. I’m in shock. It’s my baby brother.”

Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Joseph Wilder was making a deposit at a Huntington National Bank ATM on S. Division Avenue near M-6 in Byron Township — about a mile from his home — when he was shot and killed. Wilder’s pickup ended up across the street but it’s not clear how.

“It appears as though the shots were fired as the man was trying to leave,” Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said. “It was a very dangerous night in the greater Kent County area.”

The spree had started shortly before 10 p.m. when robbers fired shots in the 600 block of Leonard Street NW. A clerk at the Family Dollar says the shots were fired inside the store. No one was hurt.

Around 11:30 p.m., an hour after Wilder was killed, thieves stole an Audi SUV on S. Division Avenue north of Martin Luther King Jr. Street SE in Grand Rapids. Then, authorities say, there were two more armed robberies using that SUV — one around 1:15 a.m. on Ann Street NE between Monroe and Plainfield avenues in Grand Rapids and the other around 1:30 a.m. at 28th Street and East Paris Avenue in Kentwood.

Police later chased the stolen SUV through Grand Rapids and Walker. It ultimately crashed around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday in an Alpine Township yard at Alpine Avenue and 4 Mile Road, just 30 feet from a home.

The police chase ended in a yard at Alpine Avenue and 4 mile road, 30 feet from a home. (May 25, 2022)

The suspects took off running. The sheriff said police used a drone and tracking dogs to catch them.

The sheriff says it appears from surveillance video that the two suspects, men ages 20 and 22, were involved in the entire spree.

“I hope that it is the guys that they got, because they don’t need to be out running around, doing this to somebody else,” Phillip Wilder said. “I think they just had evil in their heart and they were going to do something terrible and it just happened to be the wrong place, wrong time.”

“Why?” he wondered. “Why would you not sit down and think about how much somebody else’s life means before you just go do that? All the people that it affects, all the people that it hurts. It’s so senseless.”

Detectives are working with prosecutors to determine possible charges. The names of the men will be released after they are formally charged.

“Every time this happens, the entire community feels a loss of security and we’re seeing that in every place right now,” LaJoye-Young said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Joseph Wilder’s family.

—News 8’s Michael Oszust and Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.