Muskegon Heights teen dies after being shot

An undated courtesy photo of Marquis Gresham.

MUSKEGON  HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — A teen with a promising future in basketball was shot and killed in Muskegon Heights late Wednesday afternoon, police say.

Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynne Gill said between three and six shots were fired around 5:30 p.m. on Rotterdam Avenue near Fifth Street. Police say 17-year-old Marquis Gresham died after being shot in the chest.

Police on the scene of a shooting near Rotterdam Avenue and Fifth Street in Muskegon Heights. (April 23, 2014)
(Police on the scene of a shooting near Rotterdam Avenue and Fifth Street in Muskegon Heights. April 23, 2014)

Witness Yolanda Tate said she was in her home on Rotterdam when she heard four shots.

“I hear a gun shot and I run to the door, of course, because I have kids out here. In the midst of it, I see a burgundy SUV; I just saw the tail of it,” she said.

She said the SUV drove down Fifth toward Norton Avenue. She said she also saw a group of guys running away on foot. In that group was Marquis.

“Marquis ran that way and he dropped right there,” Tate said, pointing down the street. “I ran down there, called the police. When I got there, he was already laying on the ground.”

“I asked if anybody knew CPR,” she continued. “Nobody did, so I tired to get in and do CPR, but he had a lot of blood coming out of his mouth and so I couldn’t really get in to do anything. … His eyes opened up just a little bit. And he looked up at my husband, and my husband continued to tell him, ‘Just hold on. Help is on the way.'”

But it was too late.

Mercy Health Hackley Campus in Muskegon was placed on lockdown for a time when family members of the victim showed up, Chief Gill said.

Police said Wednesday evening they did not yet have any suspects.

Gresham, a Muskegon Heights junior, played center on the school’s basketball team. The team had a successful season, making it to state semi-finals. Gresham, a starter, had been offered scholarships to play in college, friends told 24 Hour News 8.

An undated courtesy photo of Marquis Gresham.
(An undated courtesy photo of Marquis Gresham.)

Neighbors said Gresham was headed to his basketball banquet. He was less than a mile away when he was shot. The school confirmed that banquet was cancelled due to the shooting.

Additionally, Muskegon Heights Public Schools Academy is closed Thursday.

Tate said she hopes for a stop to the gun violence that has plagued the neighborhood.

“The kids growing up now, they are making them think it’s OK to shoot, it’s OK to kill,” she said. “That’s not OK. That’s not normal. That’s not what you do,” she said.

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