Family Describes Scene After Dickinson Street Murder

Posted at 7:36 PM, Dec 30, 2012
and last updated 2013-11-26 17:02:51-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Robert and Celia Cherry were getting into bed on the second floor of their Dickinson Street home in Grand Rapids Saturday night when they heard gunshots.

“I thought it was outside,” Robert says. “I went to the window, and I looked out the window, and I seen one guy run across the lawn. And then I ran downstairs.”

“I called to them, ‘Is everything all right? Is everybody all right down there?’ ” Celia says. “When one of the guys said, ‘Call 911,’ I knew then that something was, you know.”

The floors of the family basement were still covered in blood Sunday afternoon – the result of the scene Robert found around the corner.

It’s a scene he can’t bear remembering.

“What did you see when you went down? ” I ask him.

“Oh, man…” He starts to stand up and walk away from the living where we’re speaking.

“I don’t wanna talk about it.”

He walks to a family member and buries his face in their shoulder.

Around a table in the basement, Robert saw four men shot. One of them was his son, Jason, 34. Jason was living at the home. He was unresponsive and died from his injuries.

Jashawn Tatum is in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Two other men, Kevin Harris and Jason’s cousin George Woods, were both treated and released at local hospitals.

All the Cherry family can do now is remember the young man they say brought so much joy to his neighbors and friends.

“Jason was a real kind, loving person,” Celia says. “Well-known by everyone. Didn’t meet any strangers. Everybody liked him.”

“He’ll be well missed by the ones that knew him and loved him. He will be.”

No motive has been determined and no suspects have been arrested.

If you have any information, call the Grand Rapids Police Department at (616) 456-3604 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.