WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Police are calling on two attempted robbery suspects who left their 15-year-old accomplice behind when he was shot to turn themselves in.
The attempted robbery happened around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Olympic Market on S. Division Avenue between 35th and Wexford streets. Wyoming Department of Public Safety Lt. Rory Allen said the three people tried a “takeover robbery” at the store — essentially, trying to physically overwhelm the shopkeepers with force or numbers.
The clerk, who was the only person in the store, was surrounded and fought back, Allen said. The clerk ultimately pulled a handgun and fired one shot. The 15-year-old was hit in the chest.
The teen and the two other would-be robbers took off. A passerby found the injured teen nearby and called 911. He was hospitalized in serious condition but Allen said Wednesday that he was expected to survive.
The other two suspects ran off and had not been found as of Wednesday afternoon. Police didn’t have a good guess on their ages or specific physical descriptors because both were wearing surgical-style masks. One was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. The other was wearing a multicolored zip-up sweatshirt over a red shirt with black pants and black shoes. The suspects didn’t get away with anything.
Police say they arrived at the store in a Ford Fusion that had been reported stolen about 7 p.m. from a home about 3 miles away in Grand Rapids. That car has been recovered and investigators say they found evidence in it that could lead them to the outstanding suspects.
“We would like them to come in and turn themselves in to us so we can talk to them,” Allen said.
Anyone with information about the attempted robbery or suspects is asked to contact Wyoming police at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Allen said the clerk, who was not injured, is cooperating with investigators. He owned the handgun legally and had a license to carry it.
Allen said there has been an uptick in car thefts not just locally but also across the country. Those stolen cars are often used in other crimes and many of the cases involve teens.
“It’s something we’ve been concerned about,” Allen said. “Regardless of the circumstances, nobody wants to see a 15-year-old kid get hurt.”
Allen said Wyoming police have worked with the multijurisdictional Kent County Auto Theft Task Force and the county prosecutor’s office to try to address the problem.