GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On Wednesday night, Cassandra Ware-Bradley took a phone call that still has her shaken up. Her father, Willie Ware Jr., was rushed to the hospital.
A stray bullet hit 67-year-old Ware in front of his own home on the 1000 block of Thomas Street SE. It happened around 8:50 p.m.
Grand Rapids police said Ware was watering his lawn while his 7-year-old grandson was playing. Detectives said that’s when a teenager ran down the street while shooting at a moving vehicle.
Ware ran to push his grandson out of harm’s way. A bullet pierced Ware’s leg and broke his femur. He was rushed to Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital.
The grandfather’s daughter said he was in a lot of pain, but they’re counting their blessings. “I’m thankful that he saved my nephew [because] we could have been going to two funerals,” Ware-Bradley, said.
Cassandra Ware-Bradley grew up in the Baxter neighborhood. Lately, she said it seems to have gotten worse.
“All these young kids nowadays… they don`t have any respect for life. They just don`t care about anybody anymore,” she said.
Ware-Bradley said she wishes people would come together and that people who know something would come forward. “That`ll solve a lot of problems,” she said.
Marian Barrera-Young is the crime prevention organizer for the Baxter Neighborhood Association. She said she has gotten several calls following the shooting.
“So unfortunate,” she said about the shooting. “Bullets have no names and when kids are out shooting like they`re shooting at OK corral, you`re putting the whole neighborhood in jeopardy,” she added.
Barrera-Young believes there is no program that can cure the problems that the neighborhood is having. She said young people keep falling through the cracks and a different approach is needed to stop the cycle.
“Now it’s to the point where those kids have kids and no extended families, no people stepping up to the plate, and no program that will address any of that,” Barrera-Young explained.
She added, “So everybody’s gonna have to come out of their houses and get involved in the community.”