GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Jenette Brown was changing buses on Eastern Avenue between Franklin and Bates streets on Tuesday afternoon when she saw a man wandering in the middle of northbound traffic. She watched as he fell to the road.
“I seen the young man hit the ground in the middle of the street, like waving his arms,” she says. “So I ran over there kind of panicked. He told me he thinks he’s been shot. Like he was still traumatized from what had happened that he couldn’t believe it had happened himself.”
The man was Emmanuel Broyles, 21, of Grand Rapids. Brownsaid he’d been shot in the left side of his stomach. The bullet had torn through his organs and exited out his right side.
“He was alert and stuff,” she said “But by the time the ambulance got there, that’s when he started getting cold. He lost enough blood, he started getting cold.”
Once the ambulance and police were on scene, Brown found a neighbor who knew where Broyles’ mother lived down the street. Brown walked onto the porch and met Emmanuel’s mom, who was with her daughter and Emmanuel’s baby son.
“She told me she felt something weren’t right,” Brown said. “Because he told her ‘I’ll be right back.’ And his little sister was like…she timed him and he was taking too long. And she said when she saw us on the porch, she knew something wasn’t right. She was kind of scared. So I ended up telling her, ‘your son got shot.’ She broke down.”
Brown rode with Emmanuel’s mother to St. Mary’s Hospital where Emmanuel underwent surgery. According to the family, he is still in critical condition and there is still a chance he may not survive.
Brown’s encounter with Emmanuel felt all too familiar after a childhood spent in a neighborhood near the scene, living what she calls “the street life.”
“When I saw Emmanuel on the ground it brought back a lot of memories,” she said.
Brown said she lost a brother and cousin to violence. It caused her to change her life.
“I stay in the house. I stay to myself,” she said. “I used to be out there in the streets. The streets ain’t nothing but a waste. Just an easy step to death or jail. They say Grand Rapids is a good place to raise kids…to those who don’t know much about Grand Rapids.”
All she can do now is look to divine intervention to bring peace back to her home.
“I do pray for everybody,” Brown said. “I pray for myself. I pray for my family. I pray for my friends.”
“I even pray for my enemies, because it’s bad out here.”