‘Don’t we deserve some closure?’ Mother of three’s murder remains unsolved

Posted at 9:00 PM, Nov 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-22 21:00:23-05

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- A 26-year-old mother of three was gunned down on the streets of Grand Rapids last summer, and 16 months later her killer is still on the loose.

The family of Shanetta Franklin says their anger grows as time passes and her loss becomes more and more unbearable.

The Grand Rapids Police Department is convinced there are people who know who's responsible for her death and say it's time for them to do the right thing.

“To just be standing in a crowd and just have your loved one taken from you and ripped away from their children, wouldn`t you want some closure?” Franklin’s sister Katherine Jones said. “Don`t we deserve some closure?”

Police say Franklin was just passing through a party on Brown St. SE in July of 2013 when she was shot.

“The evening winds down, they get dropped off in a cab at the street corner and she and a couple of friends start heading westbound on the street and they come into a barbecue that’s coming to an end,” Lt. Pat Merrill of the Grand Rapids Police Department said.

He says they were there mere moments.

“They stop for a moment to talk to a man that they know there standing on the sidewalk, chatting and two individuals from the shadows nearby stepped out with firearms and started firing into the group,” Merrill said.

Three people were shot, Franklin died almost instantly.

“Us as a family aren’t complete anymore and it’s because of you,” Jones said. “So if you have it anywhere in your heart please step forward and let us know something.”

The pain is still fresh for Jones, who says she suffers nervous breakdowns after the loss of her sister.

“Coming to place the children and trying to get them settled in with different sisters in the family and grandparents and fathers,” she said. “We try to pull together but things aren’t the same, things will probably never be the same again.”

Franklin’s children now ages four, seven and 10 are being cared for by different family members, a life ripped from her oldest son he’s unable to cope with.

“Has bad dreams that his mothers dying and he can’t save her,” Jones said.

Merrill says Franklin had no involvement in the shooting whatsoever.

Jones says Franklin had recently moved to Grand Rapids from Saginaw to get away from violence and create a better life for her children.

Law enforcement says they need your help finding those responsible for Franklin’s murder and they have no doubt there are people who know what happened.

“Don’t think, I just know a little something, they probably already know that or they don’t need to know this,” Merrill said. “Little pieces make a big piece real fast.”

Anyone with information on the murder of Shanetta Franklin can stay completely anonymous by calling Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.