GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On the corner of Lafayette Ave. and Highland Street in Grand Rapids Sunday, family and friends held a candlelight vigil while mourning the loss of another young man killed by gun violence in the city.
With balloons and candles in hand, dozens showed up to pray for 30-year-old Demarcus “D-Man” Brown, gathering at a spot near where he was shot and killed just days earlier.
“I love my dad,” said his two young sons to the crowd.
Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack, who’s family member Kendall Frost was also shot and killed in the southeast side of the city last week, spoke to the crowd, pleading for an end to the violence.
“We need people to come forward with what they know, because we know if it goes to the streets somebody goes and hurt somebody then they family come back and hit somebody. We’ve seen it happen 10-20 years and take so many of our young people,” Womack said.
Both shootings are unsolved right now. Demarcus’ family says he was just starting to turn his life around after serving time.
“It's almost tore the family apart. When people are trying to turn their lives around, sometimes you get a chance to and sometimes you don't. He's a great young man, his life was snuffed out before he even had an opportunity to enjoy life,” Demarcus’ Uncle Rodney Brown said.
While the wounds from his death are still fresh, his family is hoping people come forward to help end the cycle of violence in city.
“Today is our family, tomorrow is going to be somebody else's family. Until we start taking care of ourselves as a people at home and teaching morals and respect and how to deal with each other. It's gonna be more of this,” Brown said.
“If you know something, you’ve seen something, say something. Tell what happened, this shouldn't happen to nobody and no other family,” he added.
Anyone with information about these shootings is asked to contact Grand Rapids Police Department at 616-456-3380 or the Silent Observer anonymous tip-line at 616-774-2345.