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Father, brother remember John Cain as a loving father, respected coach

The 38-year-old was shot and killed Tuesday working his job as a hotel security guard
Posted at 7:35 PM, Nov 04, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The family of John Cain, the security officer who was killed on the job Tuesday night, will always remember him as a football-loving father with a calming temperament and a deep appreciation for family.

“There’s not enough words to describe him,” said his younger brother, Michael Cain. “There’s nothing that he wouldn’t do. You can’t stop him from doing it. He’s got his mind made up; he’s going to get it done.”

Cain was an avid University of Michigan fan and always wore number 52 growing up, for his grandfather. He was also a beloved football coach for the Grand Rapids Thunder, the local semi-pro team, and his players had a great deal of respect for him.

John Cain (right) coaching the Grand Rapids Thunder semi-pro team

He was also a loving father to his only daughter.

“Even though he loved football he loved securing; he always took time out for his daughter. His daughter was his pride and joy,” said Cain’s father, John Cain Sr. “Sitting on the floor playing Barbie dolls with his daughter, reading her books, combing her hair. A lot of fathers don’t do that.”

John Cain with his daughter, Niahmari.

But on Tuesday night, while evicting a resident from the Grand Rapids Inn over a simple noise complaint, Cain was shot and killed for no apparent reason. It’s left a massive hole in the Cain family.

“We will never ever get over this. This is going to be with us for the rest of our lives,” said Cain Sr. “I can’t even sleep still at night without thinking, 'What could we have done differently?'”

As for the man who police say pulled the trigger, 21-year-old Jacob Grygorzyk, FOX 17 is learning more about his severe struggles with mental health in newly obtained court documents. According to one psychiatric evaluation in April 2020, Grygorzyk suffered from depression, aggression, excessive self-blame, and a belief that his suicide was "justifiable" in his mind. A psychiatrist deemed him in another court document to be "at risk of inadvertent harm to himself" and noted he had attempted suicide several times in the past.

None of it is comfort to the Cain family, who say they can’t sleep at night since the murder.

“I’d lay down my life for my boys and all my kids, but knowing how this occurred, I wish I could’ve been there to help out and prevent this from even happening,” said Cain Sr. “Because the only thing I want to do is protect my family and that’s what my son was basically doing; he liked to protect people.”

“If it wasn’t my son, it would’ve been someone else,” Cain Sr. continued, “and some other family would be doing the same thing we’re doing right now.”

“He was the best father ever. What you dreamed of, what you wanted, he was it,” said Michael Cain. “He was just that all-around guy. There’s no words you can put out there; he was that guy.”

The family is inviting people out to a vigil Monday, Nov. 8 at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids. The vigil begins at 5:30 p.m., and they’re hoping for a massive show of support.

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