WYOMING, Mich. — John Cain was a pillar of the Grand Rapids semi-pro football community in Grand Rapids.
He was also the security guard killed at the Grand Rapids Inn on Tuesday.
Wyoming police say Cain was investigating a complaint about an unruly guest, when the suspect, 21-year-old Jacob Grygorzyk, shot Cain from a close distance with a handgun.
Cain was just 38 years old.
Afterward, police say Grygorzyk's mother found her son dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Absolutely just very tragic. The security guard was just trying to protect their property. Doing what they wanted to be done, for removing people they don’t want at the hotel. So yes, it was very tragic,” Wyoming Police Department Lieutenant Brian Look said.
Jon Polack coached football for the Grand Rapids Thunder with Cain.
“For something so senseless like that. A man just doing his job. Saying, hey, we’ve gotten some complaints,” Polack said.
It's a loss Polack says will be felt throughout the community.
“It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking because here’s a guy who is doing right by society. As far as, he was working. Trying to raise a family, helping out in the community with these young men, as far as semi-pro football,” Polack said.
Polack says despite all this, he feels for Grygorzyk's family, saying this tragic, senseless death is a sign of changing times.
“I don’t know what was going on in that individual's life. Whether it’s substance abuse, whether it’s mental illness. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t justify it by any means. But it’s the society we live in. Everybody’s always angry. You’re afraid to say excuse me. Or, hey, turn the music down. For fear of your life now,” Polack said.
Cain was a defensive coordinator for the Thunder. He leaves behind a family.
Adding to the tragedy, Polack says a former coach for the Thunder died from COVID-19 in August. They also recently lost a player in a car accident. Polack says to any young men out there struggling—asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.