‘Why Jeff?’: Victim’s brother seeks answers in fatal shooting

Posted at 4:04 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 18:12:47-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Neighbors are on edge after a man who police describe as an unintended target was shot and killed last weekend.

Jeff Mathews, 60, was shot early Sunday morning on Clancy Avenue near Cedar Street at the Creston Plaza apartment complex.

The shooting was the latest in what Jessica Rutledge says has been a rash of violence in her neighborhood.

"I've been here since May and since I've been here it's been three shootings," Rutledge said.

Mathews’ brother Mark said he was a quiet man who usually kept to himself and was inside the house before it gets dark. But on Sunday, Mark Mathews said his brother was out doing laundry at a friend’s apartment because his dryer broke.

"I usually get a phone call from Jeff but this time it was a phone call about Jeff, and it wasn't good," Mathews said.

He says he doesn’t understand why it happened to his brother.

“I was just feeling like, ‘wow, how? Why Jeff?’” Mathews said. "He's harmless. He wouldn't hurt no one and just — what was going on?”

At this point, he is just hoping someone comes forward to figure out what happened.

"Just give some information and to the killer: just turn yourself in, it'll be a lot easier for you," Mathews said.

Investigators and people who live nearby have both said there was a large group of people around the time of the shooting, so there are multiple witnesses to the shooting.

"Next time it could be one of the children. If it was one of their children or one of their loved ones, they would want someone to say something, they would want someone to step forward so do the right thing,” she said.

Anyone who knows anything about the shooting is asked to call Grand Rapids police at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.