Teen killed in strip mall parking lot may be GR’s first homicide of 2019

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-13 18:07:55-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Police are investigating a reported shooting that happened Sunday evening around 5 p.m.

Grand Rapids Police tweeted out that one man was killed in a parking lot at 44th Street & Kalamazoo Avene SE.

Their initial report indicated a shooting happened in the parking lot of Florentine's.

James King, 17
Photo courtesy of King's family

FOX 17 spoke to one of the owners of Florentine's, who said that the incident happened out in the joint parking lot of the Towne & Country Shopping Center strip mall. They said they are thankful that no employees or customers were hurt during the incident.

Police Sgt. Cathy Williams said in a media briefing that a vehicle may be involved, but they do not have a vehicle description.

"We'll certainly be looking at all angles," she said. "Generally these kinds of incidents are not random. We have no reason to believe that this is a random incident. We do believe the victim was an intended target."

Police have not identified the victim. However, family members have identified him to FOX 17 as James King, 17, a student at East Kentwood High School.

No other injuries were reported in connection to the shooting. No suspects are in custody at this time.

While it is a suspected shooting, an autopsy will be conducted Monday by the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office. If the case is determined to be a homicide, it will be the first one in Grand Rapids in 2019.

Anyone with information is asked to call Grand Rapids Police at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.