‘Horrible’: Neighbors shaken by home invasion, killing

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
comstock township home invasion scene

Investigators remain on the scene the morning after an intruder killed a homeowner and then shot three police officers in Comstock Township. (Dec. 2, 2019)

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Neighbors of the young father who was killed in a home invasion near Kalamazoo Sunday night are sending their condolences to his family.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as 22-year-old Christopher Ryan Lee Neal.

Neighbor Cheryl Little told News 8 on Monday that Neal and his family moved in to their house on Proctor Avenue near King Highway in Comstock Township a couple weeks ago. She had not had a chance to meet them yet.

“I just feel horrible for them,” Little said. “It’s sad.”

Little says she was watching TV with her boyfriend when around 10:45 p.m. when they noticed something was going on.

“First we’d seen all the lights,” Little said. “We were wondering what was going on so my boyfriend came out and he looked and right away the officer said, ‘Sir, get in the house, lock the doors.’ So that’s exactly what we did.”

Christopher Neal
An undated photo of Christopher Neal courtesy Facebook.

Someone had broken into the Neal home and taken him hostage. His wife and daughter were able to hide and weren’t hurt.

Little said she has not seen any problems on the dead-end street since she moved there a year ago and was shocked to see what was going on.

“I could tell somebody must have ran because they were all over, all over the place and my boyfriend said he had heard them loading up a gun so we knew whatever it was, get back inside and just stay there,” Little said.

Neighbor are grateful a suspect was taken into custody. His name has not been released, but authorities say he will face several charges including murder and assault for shooting and injuring three police officers.

“I’m glad that they got him. He should have been the one that was shot, not the others,” Little said. “I don’t know what makes people do what we do. It’s a crazy world we live in.”

Neighbors are also sending prayers to the three officers, all of whom sustained injuries that are not considered life-threatening and two of whom were out of the hospital Monday morning.

“Thank God for the police department,” Little said. “They did their best and I’m glad that they’re going to be OK.”

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