Man who shot motel security guard, self has history of mental illness

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Court records show the man responsible for a murder at a Wyoming motel earlier this month had a history of mental illness and had attempted suicide at least once before he killed a security guard and then himself.

The apparently random shooting at the Grand Rapids Inn on 28th Street and Buchanan Avenue on Nov. 1 took the life of security guard, beloved father and coach John Cain Jr., 38. Jacob Grygorzyk recorded himself shooting Cain and posted the video online. Grygorzyk was found dead the same night, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive remains unknown.

Probate court documents reveal that Grygorzyk was hospitalized on April 11, 2020, after he overdosed on Xanax and alcohol in an attempt to kill himself. A social worker wrote in the court file that Grygorzyk left a note for his family stating he was sorry and told the social worker that he had planned to harm himself since 2016.

Probate court documents also say that Grygorzky was examined by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with “major depression,” determine he had chronic suicidal thinking, reoccurring bouts of depression, self-blame and guilt. The doctor added he believed the depression could lead to the likelihood of injury himself.

Another medical professional said the same, but when asked if there was a likelihood that Grygorzyk would injure others, he said no.

The matter was moved to probate court in an effort to get Grygorzyk help.

“Individuals can be under an order for mental health treatment or they can defer to treatment,” Avery Rose, register at Kent County Probate Court, explained.

Grygorzyk chose the second, deferring to treatment. Records show that on April 17, 2020, he avoided a court hearing by consenting to up to 60 days at a mental health hospital and up to 180 days of outpatient treatment for his depression.

What happened between agreeing to treatment and the shooting remains a mystery. The courts do not indicate whether he finished treatment.

“If an individual defers to treatment and they do not follow any of the things in terms of treatment they deferred to, (Kent County mental health authority) Network180 could file a demand for hearing or a psychiatrist could as well,” Rose said.

No such demand was filed. That means one of two things: either Grygorzyk finished his treatment and became better or someone missed the deadline to file for continuing treatment, which is set 14 days before specified treatment ends.

“There is an expiration date on all of those things. And so for instance, in the case that you asked about, the person is not on an order; they deferred to treatment,” Rose said.

HOW COURT REQUESTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT WORK

Someone who is concerned that another person’s mental health struggles may cause them to harm themselves can file a petition for mental health treatment and request a transport for that person when they are unwilling to seek treatment.

The person needing care is then sent to a prescreening unit. It could be an emergency room, where they are examined by psychiatrist or physician. If someone is recommended for hospitalization and refuses help, they are taken to psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

The court then receives the petition and certificates from the doctor and psychiatrist. An attorney is appointed and a hearing is scheduled.

One of four things could then happen:

  • The person is discharged by the hospital. Doctors determine no mental health care is needed and the hearing is canceled.
  • The person defers to treatment sign and agrees to the obligations. The hearing is canceled. This is what happened in Grygorzyk’s case.
  • The person signs a stipulation to the order and stipulates to treatment, which would include the number of days in treatment.
  • A hearing is held. A judge listens to testimony from doctors and individual before making a decision on the next steps.

Network180 can be reached at 616.336.3909.

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