Police: Suspect in deadly gas station robbery connected to two other shootings

Posted at 5:51 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 18:10:42-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A man who police say is connected to three separate shootings is facing possible life in prison after allegedly shooting a woman on Thomas Street Sunday.

Willie Bryant, 33, was arraigned at the 61st District Court via video Tuesday, charged with attempted murder in the shooting of shooting Annette Vaught in the 900 block of Thomas. He's being charged as a 4th time offender with previous drug and larceny charges.

His father, Willie Bryant Sr. apologized on behalf of his son at court, but says he doesn't think his son is capable of murder.

"My heart goes out to them and I'm sorry," said Bryant Sr. "If my son had anything to do with it, I'm sorry. He wasn't raised that way, I didn't raise a monster as far as I know."

The victim's neighbor, Sharem Clyburn, tells us Vaught is recovering in the hospital. She also said she's well respected in the neighborhood.

"She's a very strong women because she was talking with a wound to the face, to still be able to talk, that's a strong woman," Clyburn said.

Bryant is also expected to face charges in the fatal shooting of a gas station attendant during an armed robbery in Wyoming Monday morning. Meantime, GRPD say they have also connected him to a double shooting Saturday, also on Thomas Street.

"Based on his short pattern of violent behavior, we're not convinced it was isolated to those three days," said GRPD Sgt. Cathy Williams.

Monday's armed robbery led to a 7-hour standoff at a home on Franklin in Grand Rapids and a brief police chase Monday night. Bryant was eventually arrested at the McDonald's on Michigan Street near College Avenue after a Silent Observer tip. His father is now asking his son to take responsibility for his actions.

"If you did this, man up and suffer the consequences," said Bryant Sr. "If you didn't, then I'll fight all the way to help you."

Tuesday, the judge denied bond for Bryant, calling him a flight risk and a significant risk to the community. He's expected back in court next month.