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Family demands answers, remembers life of man killed in GR officer-involved shooting

Patrick Lyoya
Posted at 7:13 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 23:24:25-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Lyoya family moved from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States to escape violence.

An interpreter and spokesman for the family said they never expected this to happen in the United States of America.

He restated what the father said Swahili, "'I witnessed this thing in Africa. I never expected to see it happen in America'", said Israel Siku, the Lyoya family spokesperson and interpreter.

READ: Man identified in Grand Rapids officer involved shooting

As the Lyoya family mourns their son, they keep asking the same question, "Why?". They want to know why their son was shot and why they still don't have any answers.

"Patrick's personality, even in the community was a good guy. He was a good kid," said Siku.

Siku said Patrick's father is confused on the events that played out on Monday which ultimately killed him.

"The man is hurting. It is his first born. Patrick was the first born," said Siku.

READ: GRPD Chief on delaying release of video: 'This is not a cover up'

26-year-old Patrick Lyoya leaves behind two children, a two-year-old and a three-month-old.

His family, who live in Lansing, are part of a tight knit West Michigan Congolese community of 700.

"I’m not saying that our community is perfect, but we raise a kid to be respectful. Patrick was not a trouble maker, the way they are trying to portray him. That is what is making his father mad, how they are portraying his son like a criminal," said Siku.

Siku said despite any criminal history, the father believes it shouldn't have played out like it did.

He restated what the father said in Swahili, "'I would like to see him handicap than dead. They could shoot him in the leg. They can shoot him in the back, maybe they could give a chance to call his father, but shoot him on the back of the head? That is inexcusable. You cannot explain that.' To him, it is an execution style. That is it," said Siku.

READ: 'I am asking for the public’s patience': Prosecutor requests police not release video of GRPD officer-involved shooting until investigation is complete

Now, the Lyoya family is hoping to do right by their son.

Siku said they have hired a lawyer and are ready to take action.

"He wants justice. He wants the officer to be arrested. His wants the officer to be persecuted. He wants the officer to be fired. He wants justice for his son," said Siku.

The Grand Rapids Police Department has yet to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting to the family or why Patrick was shot.