NewsShooting death of Patrick Lyoya


‘My heart is still breaking:’ Lyoya family learns identity of officer who fatally shot their son

GRPD chief confirms officer's name is Christopher Schurr
GRPD pic.jpg
Posted at 7:35 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 19:46:07-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Monday afternoon, the Grand Rapids Police Department released the name of the officer involved in the fatal shooting that killed Patrick Lyoya weeks ago.

Chief Eric Winstrom confirmed in a statement that his name is Christopher Shurr.

Peter Lyoya, Patrick’s father, said in phone interview with FOX 17 that knowing his name is an answered prayer.

“It seems like God is already answering my prayer because that’s what I was asking,” said Israel Siku, translating for Peter who is Congolese and speaks Swahili. “It seems like God was answering my prayer surely but slowly.”

Three weeks ago on Monday morning April 4, Lyoya was fatally shot in the head during a traffic stop near the intersection of Nelson and Griggs.

Nine days later, on April 13, GRPD released videos of the shooting.

Since then dozens of protests have broken out across the city and state with many people calling for GRPD to release the name of the officer.

Monday, their calls were answered.

“Now, I cannot tell you that I’m happy because I know the name of the officer,” Siku said for Peter. “My heart is still breaking. I’m still mourning. I’m crying about the death of my son and my family. What I’m asking right now is for the Department of Justice to take the case of my son Patrick so the justice can be served and the justice can be done.”

Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton called for the same thing last Friday during Patrick’s funeral services at Renaissance Church.

“I want to call on the federal Justice Department to investigate this death,” he said at the podium. “We have reason to not just want to wait for the local prosecutor. We don’t want local politics to compromise justice.”

Rev. Sharpton, who’s the founder and president of the National Action Network, released a statement Monday afternoon, saying in part:

“Every time a Black man or woman is arrested in America, their name is immediately put out in the news. But when this officer put the gun to the back of Patrick Lyoya’s head and decided to pull the trigger, his family had to wait three weeks to find out the name of the man who killed him. Transparency is the first step toward justice in Patrick Lyoya’s name, but it certainly isn’t the last.”

Attorney Ven Johnson, who’s representing the family alongside Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump, said GRPD should've released the name sooner.

“I mean, what a joke. No, they were not transparent. They knew Schurr pulled the trigger three weeks ago. They knew within a minute of pulling the trigger because he has to call in and report an officer-involved shooting,” Johnson said during a Zoom interview on Monday afternoon. “Clearly when they called Michigan State Police, they released that name to the Michigan State Police. So, all the cops knew. But the public didn’t, and no offense to the public because I think they deserve to know too. But the family didn’t, Lauren. And you were there on Friday, you saw what this family is going through.”

Chief Winstrom’s statement said GRPD released the name in an effort to be “transparent, to reduce on-going speculation, and to avoid any further confusion.” He added that officer Schurr remains on administrative leave and has been stripped of his police powers until MSP wraps its investigation.

“I watched a video today of our governor and she was pretty certain that MSP should be done pretty soon, whatever that means,” Johnson said. “I would like to think that it will. But, we’ll see.”