KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo investigators are looking for suspects in two recent shootings.
Both jeopardized the lives of innocent people, including children.
“This place is turning into a baby Chicago. They’re riding by, shooting and didn’t even care,” Kimberly Reece said.
Five-year-old Clarity Coleman, Reece’s granddaughter, was shot in the foot by what police call a rolling gun battle.
“She was getting pulled in the wagon and the bullet went through the wagon and hit her in the foot,” Reece said.
Reece says her granddaughter’s wound will heal. But she is worried about the trauma suffered by the little girl, nicknamed Tuta.
“She’s only 5, (her) birthday is in like four weeks. We had plans and stuff, and now, she’s scared out of her wits. Probably ain’t going to want to come outside to play,” Reece said.
About a dozen neighborhood kids were playing in a lot on Ogden Avenue, near Douglas Avenue on the north side of Kalamazoo around 9 p.m. Wednesday, when they were caught in the crossfire.
Another bullet hit 12-year-old Chyesha Smith.
“I didn’t even know that I got shot until I started feeling the pain,” Smith said.
Neighbors say trouble doesn’t usually come to this neighborhood. Everyone knows everybody. Everyone watches out for each other, especially the kids.
And now, some are left wondering if things will ever be the same.
“We just went through the quarantine, so they just been able to come back out. And now this. So now they’re going to be forced back in the house,” said Chyesha’s mother, Terry.
It was at least the sixth shooting or shots fire call in Kalamazoo in the last week, and the second that put innocent lives at risk.
Kalamazoo police put out pictures of the two vehicles involved in Wednesday night’s shooting.
Investigators say it appears someone got out of a black SUV, who is then seen shooting at a dark-colored sedan that seems to have two different sets of custom wheels on the front and rear.
Monday afternoon, two suspects who had a beef with each other opened fire in a car sitting in the parking lot of a busy downtown gas station.
KDPS put out video showing just how close the innocent bystanders were to the shooting at the Shell station at Michigan and Westnedge avenues.
Back on Odgen Avenue, the grandmother of the 5-year-old shooting victim says enough is enough.
“Me and my kids, we’re leaving. I’m not going to stay over here. Now my kids are traumatized. They don’t want to even come back to my house,” said Reece, who has a message for the shooters.
“They saw those kids. And you took it upon yourself to continue to shoot. And that really could have killed a lot of those kids out there,” she said.
And while 12-year-old Chyesha Smith’s wounds will heal, her carefree days of playing with the neighborhood kids may have come to an end.
“Not no more,” Smith said. “Especially like this.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269.337.8139 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.