GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Patrick Lyoya’s family and friends have been asking for accountability since April 4, when Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr shot and killed Patrick.
On Thursday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced a second-degree murder charge against Schurr.
Peter Lyoya lost his oldest son more than two months ago, but says he felt some sense of comfort Thursday after hearing about the charge.
"I cannot forget Patrick. Even what happened today, it cannot say that it's gone. Relief in my heart," Peter, through an interpreter, told FOX 17.
"I want to say thank you to Mr. Crump or Attorney Ven Johnson, Commissioner Robert, because without them, probably we won't be getting the result we got today," Israel Siku said.
The local NAACP chapter is feeling a similar way about Thursday's announcement. President Cle Jackson says he felt that this case might have gone another way.
"I was shocked. To be quite honest, I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. Because I actually didn't, I didn't expect that. I mean, just being fully transparent and full transparency, I did not expect that. I did not. I knew it should happen," Jackson told FOX 17.
Jackson even applauded the prosecutor's actions, despite weeks ago asking Becker to recuse himself from the case.
"And I'm just thankful that his opinion today, we feel is appropriate. And so I want to thank him for his due diligence in his strategy, and making sure that this case was looked at appropriately and effectively," Jackson added.
These charges are just the beginning. The Lyoya family's attorney Ven Johnson says he plans to see this to the end.
"This is the first big step. But yet a step and justice is starting to occur. But it's gonna be a long process," Johnson told FOX 17.