HOLLAND, Mich– As investigators in Ottawa County continue to investigate the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy, they say the man originally believed to be the suspect wasn’t in Michigan at the time.
The shooting happened at the Hampton Inn off Felch Street in Holland at 12:04 a.m. Saturday.
Investigators say 14-year-old Troy “T.J.” Wells Jr. was found with a gunshot wound and taken to the hospital, but did not survive.
Originally, investigators named Claudio Estrada Jr., 23, as the suspect. However, Sunday evening, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release saying Estrada turned himself into authorities in Texas after learning about the situation in Michigan. After an investigation with Texas authorities and an interview with Estrada, Ottawa County authorities now believe he was not even in Michigan at the time of the homicide. Officials also believe witnesses may have provided false information that led to Estrada being identified as the suspect.
Investigators say Estrada was released from custody in Texas after being held there for a short time.
Given this new information, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office now says it’s focusing the investigation on an 18-year-old male from Holland. He has not been identified or taken into custody as of Sunday evening.
Investigators do still believe the shooting was somehow gang related.
Officials plan to meet with the Ottawa County Prosecutors Office on Monday to discuss new charges in connection to the homicide and also possible charges for false information being given to police.
Anyone with information regarding the homicide is asked to call Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT.