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Suspect in shooting of 12-year-old boy arrested & charged

Willie Lee Bledsoe tied to multiple crimes
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Posted at 2:34 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 14:34:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Police announced the arrest and arraignment of the suspect in Monday's shooting of a 12-year-old boy.

Willie Lee Bledsoe was charged Thursday morning on 3 counts: assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, weapons discharge from a vehicle causing injury, plus receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle.

Investigators say the 16-year-old suspect is also tied to other cases of stolen vehicles and business break-ins across Grand Rapids and other cities.

“Gun violence should be concerning to every person in our community,” said Police Chief Eric Payne. “It’s very concerning to me and it’s the reason I am implementing neighborhood-based policing and stepping up our patrol efforts. This violence has touched practically every segment of our city, and we are not alone — this surge in crime is a national trend.”

In the first half of 2020, Grand Rapids saw 474 incidents of gunfire, putting the city on track to exceed the total in 2019 by nearly 8 percent.