Police: Man Killed by Group in GR Possibly Targeted

Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 11, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A man died from his injuries after being assaulted on Grand Rapids’ southeast side over the weekend, and police say he may have been targeted.

According to police, the victim was walking down Horton Avenue just north of Burton Street SE when several men approached him.

Amanda Norton, who lives nearby, said she witnessed the attack. “They were running down the street,” she said. “One guy … he was in front and three other guys.  The last one stated ‘catch him.'”

Norton said that’s when one of the suspects punched the victim, who fell to the ground. When she checked on the victim he was alert, she said.

“He said they stole his wallet, his keys, stole his car,” Norton said. “They told him they were going to come back and kill him.”

That’s when Norton ran back home and called for help.

By the time police arrived, the man was already unconscious. He died Tuesday night at a nearby hospital.

A detective with the Grand Rapids Police Department tells FOX 17 that the man was in town with a traveling group who does farm work. He also said it’s likely the victim was not working here legally and that he could have been targeted because of it.

“The members of this group had some concern that this had been going on and perhaps no one had been talking about it,” Lt. Patrick Merrill said. “If someone out there is engaged with activity like this because they believe the victims are easy targets and aren’t going to talk to police, that needs to change. They need to talk to us. They need to let us know what’s going on. We will aggressively pursue this kind of stuff.”

Lt. Merrill said one of the reasons they’re having a difficult time identifying the victim is because he had several forms of identification.

Anyone with information is asked to give Silent Observer a call at 616-774-2345.