Woman who’s nonverbal pulled to safety after police chase

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A bizarre twist has been added to a homicide case in Muskegon Heights that turned into shots being fired at law enforcement officers and a police chase that ended in Kent County.

News 8 has learned that a third victim was involved and was in the back seat of the suspect’s car during the police chase Monday evening.

Family identified the third victim as 24-year-old Donayae Johnson who is nonverbal and mentally closer to 5 years old. Thankfully, a deputy was able to pull her out to safety. 

The family says they’re still in a state of shock and wondering what would have happened next if the suspect was able to escape.

“By her not being verbal, we’ll never know what she actually saw,” said the woman’s grandmother, Thea Bailey. 

Investigators say the incident began as an argument around 6 p.m. in Muskegon Heights. Cell phone video captured by a neighbor in the 2100 block of Mc Ilwraith Street allegedly shows the interaction leading up to the shooting.

According to family, Jermaine Bolton and his girlfriend Stacey Wallace-Johnson were shot multiple times. Bolton is in critical condition and Wallace-Johnson died.

A courtesy photo of victims of a Muskegon Heights shooting that killed Stacey Wallace-Johnson (left) and critically injured Jermaine Bolton (right).

“It’s like being in a nightmare that you can’t wake up from,” Bailey said. 

According to neighbors, Bolton was arguing with his son who then started shooting.

News 8 is waiting to name the suspect until he is arraigned.

“He (the suspect) has ruined the lives of all of us, her (Wallace-Johnson) children and it’s just unbelievable. There is just no way that a child could have that animosity toward anybody, especially their own parent,” Bailey said. 

When family learned about the shooting, Bailey wondered where her granddaughter was. Police later found her inside the suspect’s car about an hour after the shooting.

The suspect was spotted driving the wrong way on M-37 near Sparta. Kent County deputies attempted to pull the suspect over. As he pulled over, he fired shots at a deputy who was approaching and drove off, then led them on a chase.

Surround agencies assisted in the pursuit.

The suspect then continued onto I-96, driving the wrong way. The suspect fired more shots, hitting a Walker police cruiser.

It all ended when a deputy crashed into the suspect’s vehicle near Walker Avenue, stopping him.

Family members say that’s when a deputy pulled Donayae Johnson out of the car to safety.

The victim’s family feels the suspect deserves to be behind bars for life.

“I don’t want him to see daylight,” Bailey said. “I don’t want him to be able to hurt anybody else — Nobody.”

The suspect is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

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