BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Battle Creek police are investigating after two people were shot and killed early Tuesday at a birthday memorial for Elijah Williams, a young man who was shot and killed back in October of last year in the city.
The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. on Rittenhouse Avenue between Washington and Meachem avenues. Police say the victims are a 23-year-old woman Diamond King and 30-year-old Leon Jackson.
Crews on scene told News 8, a group of people were gathered at the home having a birthday memorial for Williams, who was shot and killed in Battle Creek back in October 2019, when the gunfire went off.
Detective Sgt. Joel Case says it does not appear the victims were targeted.
“It may have been something from maybe individuals from the other side of town knew that there was a birthday celebration taking place for somebody that was already deceased from another homicide,” Case said.
Officers say evidence collected outside the home shows two people at the party returned fire.
“It appears at this point there were two shooters that shot from behind the ally on the south side Rittenhouse. They must of snuck up in the darkness and started just shooting into the crowd of people that were at the party,” Case said.
Dawn Oldenburg lives in the area and says she would often run into Jackson in the neighborhood. She says he was always friendly, and the loss has been difficult for the entire community.
“We deal with what we can deal with right now. We put one foot right in front of the other and it’s sad to say we go on. We try to make it better. Had there been something somebody could have done differently, I don’t know. I wasn’t here I don’t know. I can’t say but I do know one thing for sure his legacy will live on,” Oldenburg said.
Officers do not have any suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Calhoun County Dispatch at 269.781.0911 or Silent Observer at 269.964.3888.
Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this story, Jackson’s last name was incorrect. It has since been corrected. We apologize for the error.