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Grand Rapids police identify woman shot, killed on Christmas Eve

GRPD cruiser 03312024
Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 27, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Police have identified the woman who was shot and killed in Grand Rapids on Christmas Eve.

Grand Rapids police say officers were called to a shooting in the 600 block of Cass Avenue SE around 8:40 p.m. on December 24.

Officers arrived on the scene and found 43-year-old Hope Cutts suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Cutts was taken to the hospital where she died.

Police arrested 33-year-old Dequan Nelson on charges of open murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Nelson is being held at the Kent County Correctional Facility without bond.

Cutts was a Well House resident.

Tami VandenBerg, who served as the executive director for Well House from late 2012 to early 2018, released the following statement to FOX 17: “Hope lived at Well House for much of my time as Director, and it was a great honor to know her. Despite the difficult life she had experienced and her time living on the streets, Hope was always filled with a love for life and a desire to help others get off the street.

“Hope always showed up for the organization and for me personally. She spoke at events, helped renovate homes, organized gatherings for tenants, she was up for anything. If it meant fewer people living on the street, she would do it.

“Hope was a friend and I’m devastated she was shot and died. She will leave a gaping hole in the lives of those of us who loved her. Hope would want us to continue our work to end homelessness and poverty, and to work for a more just and peaceful world. I’m so angry her life was cut short. It’s incredibly unfair and I hope for accountability for the shooter.”