MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Four people have been taken into custody in connection to the shooting death of a teenager in Muskegon, prosecutors say.
The victim’s mother identified him to News 8 as 14-year-old Demario Spears Jr.
Three juveniles and one adult were taken into custody in connection to the shooting investigation. Prosecutor D.J. Hilson told News 8 investigators are fairly confident they have the shooter.
“Investigators have been working pretty efficiently and effectively over the last 24 hours and as a result we were able to place into custody four people,” Hilson said.
He issued charges against the three juveniles Thursday: one faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon, resisting and obstructing a police officer and felony firearm; another is accused of tampering with evidence and the third faces a charge of carrying a concealed weapon and tampering with evidence. A court hearing is expected next week.
“Even though we’ve got the three juveniles charged, that doesn’t mean that we’re done charging both the juveniles and certainly the adult,” Hilson said. “There’s still a lot of information coming. One of the things we have to take a look at and evaluate is whether or not there’s any self-defense claim here…”
Hilson did not provide any details about circumstances of the shooting that might support such a claim.
“It’s a fluid investigation, there’s still a lot of work that’s being done by detectives,” he said.
Investigators have not said what led up to the shooting Wednesday morning on Jiroch Street south of Irwin Avenue in the McLaughlin neighborhood. The Muskegon Police Department said officers found Spears shot in the torso. He died at the scene.
After nearby Muskegon High School went into secure mode because of the shooting, a student tried entering campus and was approached by a school resource officer. The student had a gun and was detained. Hilson said that student is among the three being charged, but did not confirm what charges that student was facing.
“…The victim in the particular case is 14 years old, which is obviously very sad and tragic. Anytime somebody that young dies, it’s tragic. And in this fashion, it makes it even worse,” Hilson said.
‘MY BABY IS GONE’
Spears’ mother, Ieasha Brown, said he was funny, strong and loved basketball.
“My baby … he loved basketball, he loved everything. He was a good kid,” she said. “He was so funny.”
She said he wanted to own a car lot when he was older and told his mom he’d give her her favorite Jeep.
“That’s my best friend. My best friend. He (was) all I had, too,” Brown said.
Through tears, she said her son was strong and she can’t believe he’s gone.
“My baby is gone, my baby is gone. It’s still hard to believe, my baby is gone,” she said.
Brown’s aunt said her great-nephew “touched everybody’s heart.”
“This is just senseless,” she said. “Why, why can’t they put the guns down and just talk — or fight it out? Why did it have to come to this? And this is my niece’s only child. We are going to support her and be here for her, whatever it takes to get through this.”
“It’s just ruthless, to do this,” she added later. “I wish they could think of a way to get rid of guns.”
Patrice Williams, also an aunt of Brown, said Spears was a lovable kid.
“It’s just sad. He loved everybody, loved the kids in the neighborhood, loved the kids in the schoolyard,” she said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Brown pay for funeral expenses.
— News 8’s Taylor Morris contributed to this report.