Family: Man killed in Battle Creek loved by all

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK. Mich. (WOOD) — Family of a 22-year-old found shot to death over the weekend are remembering him as a well-liked, intelligent young man with a bright future.

“Anybody that was around him loved him. Took a good man out of this world. He was going to be a big help around here, too,” Joseph Bowser‘s godfather, Eric Fitzpatrick, told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday.

Bowser was set to graduate from Western Michigan University next year with an engineering degree.

His body was discovered Saturday morning behind an apartment building at 85 Stringham Road at the River Apartments. He had been shot in the head.

His cousin, Khylen Watkins, grew up with Bowser and says they were inseparable. Watkins says Bowser was a mentor.

“I love him. Like I was his biggest fan and he was my other biggest fan,” Watkins said. “(Bowser was) the best one on the court on the field, on the track, soccer field. He was the best in the classroom, too, straight-A’s.”

He’s not sure what happened that led anyone to kill his cousin.

“Dealing with the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time. What happens in the dark still come to light,” Watkins said.

Family members say Bowser, who was visiting a friend at the apartment complex, didn’t have any enemies. They say Bowser spent the last few days helping paint at a church with his dad to prepare for Easter.

Fitpatrick, Bowser’s godfather, said gun violence has to stop and he doesn’t understand how someone could kill his godson, a driven young man with an infectious smile.

“We hope they find out who did it,” he said. “And whoever did it, it didn’t have to come to this. You know y’all could’ve squashed it — whatever, whatever the problem was — could’ve squashed it a different way,” he said.

Family is planning a memorial but nothing is scheduled yet.

The criminal investigation is ongoing. Battle Creek police are urging anyone who has any information to call them at 269.781.0911 or Silent Observer at 269.964.3888.

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