On Monday, Kalamazoo Public Safety officers were called to a home in the 1800 block of Race Street on the city’s South side. There, they found Michael Day, 13, lying on the ground after being shot in the torso while riding his bike. The teenager was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.
The incident happened just after 7 p.m. Public safety officials said it all started with an argument.
Chief Jeff Hadley said they have a person of interest in custody on an unrelated charge. Their name has not yet been released.
The family spokesperson said it’s the second time the teenager was shot at in less than two months. She tells FOX 17 that Day was walking home from school with some friends when a bullet struck him.
She said he was recently released from the hospital after recovering from those injuries. She also said Day was dedicated to sports and loved to play football.
While in the Edison neighborhood where the shooting happened, people who live nearby could be seen creating a memorial for the teenager.
“I put a sign, ya know, that says, ‘This could’ve been any one of our children,'” Tschupp said. “Just a plea to please stop the violence.”
Tschupp and Beatty, both mothers, said they moved to Kalamazoo from Battle Creek to get away from the violence. However, they said the move, has brought them little peace.
“Lately there’s been shooting after shooting and ya know we’re scared to walk down the road to go to the store,” Tschupp said.
Since the first of the year, more than 350 crimes were reported for the Edison neighborhood. More than 40 of those were violent crimes like aggravated assaults, according to the Kalamazoo Public Safety website.
FOX 17 reached out to the neighborhood association but the spokesperson didn’t want to comment on Monday’s shooting or the issues regarding the area. Attempts to reach KPS, regarding the same issue, also went unanswered.
Beatty and Tschupp said they walk past where the shooting happened every day while going to a nearby store. They said they’re nervous they’ll “be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I had to rearrange my room to make sure that if there was a drive-by that my son’s bed isn’t next to the windows,” Tschupp said.
The sisters also said their concerns about the neighborhood is also impacting their children, saying they’re no longer allowing them to play in the front yard.
Day attended Milwood Magnet School. Grief counselors will be on staff throughout the week.