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GRPD identifies shooting victims, asks for help

Posted: 3:33 PM, Sep 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-23 19:48:00-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids police have identified the victims in two fatal shootings on Saturday.

The first shooting happened around 2:15 a.m. Saturday on Ionia Avenue SW. Police identified 29-year-old Markes Boyd as the victim.

The second happened around 3:20 a.m. in the area of Diamond Avenue and Sigsbee Street. The victim, 64-year-old Terry Wilks, was taken to a hospital before police arrived, where he later died.

Their deaths are the 12th and 13th homicides in Grand Rapids this year.

“It’s not acceptable, I think anyone will realize what occurred this weekend shouldn’t be acceptable in any community,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said.

Payne said investigators are looking for cooperation from possible witnesses, which have hurt their ability to find the people responsible.

Police haven’t released any information on what led up to either shooting or if any suspects have been identified.

Payne said Monday it is too early to tell if the victims of Saturday’s shootings were intended targets.

In 2018, Grand Rapids had nine homicides — only the second time the total has been in single digits in the last eight years.

When asked if the uptick was a gun issue, Payne attributed the violence to a variety of factors.

“There’s a lot of factors we can look into, what is the cause of it. Some would say economics, education, mental health,” he said. “There are a number of factors, it’s not just a police issue, it’s a community issue that we must work with partners in different fields to try to address the root cause of what’s going on.”

Throughout a press briefing, Payne repeatedly made pleas to the public to break the “code of silence” and tell police anything they know.

“It’s not acceptable, it’s only harming the community when these incidents occur and we hope that people would step up and help us out with this,” Payne said.