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Grand Rapids police chief on reducing violence: 'We need to do this together'

Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne file photo
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 13:17:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne described himself as “troubled and saddened” by violent incidents his department dealt with over the weekend. He commented on the weekend’s homicide, shooting, and stabbing in a release.

“This past week’s gun violence should trouble every person who lives and works in Grand Rapids,” he said. “I will continue working with our community on increased efforts to do whatever we can to get at the root causes of this violence.”

“I believe together we have the ability to find real solutions to this unacceptable level of criminal behavior, which is causing devastating consequences to our neighborhoods.”

Among the violence over the weekend was the city’s 20th homicide of the year, and his release included a case-by-case review of the incidents over a eight-hour period:

  • Saturday, 7:30 p.m. An apparent drive-by shooting on Bradford Street NE near Lafayette Avenue. The victim, a 20-year-old male, said he was walking on Bradford when someone in a passing vehicle shot at him.
  • Saturday, 11:33 p.m. An apparent shootout on Bemis Street near Leland Avenue SE. A woman, 23, was taken to the hospital in a vehicle with a bullet hole in it. Police found another crashed vehicle with 12 bullet holes in it. They found more than 50 shell casings in the area.
  • Sunday, 2:20 a.m. Police were flagged down in the 700 block of Turner Avenue and found a man, 24, shot and unconscious. He died and there are no suspects.
  • Sunday, 2:54 a.m. A woman, 23, with stab wounds arrived in a private vehicle at Butterworth Hospital. A friend of the woman said the stabbing took place during a fight with another woman at the New York Fried Chicken. The woman, at first in critical condition, is now stable.

Anyone with knowledge of these events should call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616-456-3400, or leave information anonymously with Silent Observer online or by phone at 616-774-2345.