KDPS: Homicide of boy, 13, ‘not acceptable’

Michael Day. (Undated courtesy photo)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say an argument in Kalamazoo escalated to shots being fired Monday evening and the death of a 13-year-old boy.

Michael Day was shot in the chest around 7 p.m. near the intersection of Lake Boulevard and Race Street, not far from his family’s home. He died later at the hospital.

“He loved playing basketball,” a statement from a family spokesman said in part. “He loved bike riding and hanging out with his family. He was an awesome person to be around.”

“It’s just sad because he is 13 years old. This is a child that’s life has been taken; whose parents couldn’t even say goodbye to him last night,” neighbor Emily West said. “So close to home, and this is what scares me.”

West has lived in the Edison neighborhood for 2 years. She has children who went to school with Michael at Milwood Magnet School. She often saw Michael saw him riding his bike past her house.

She saw him go by Monday before he was shot.

She said she heard one shot and then four or five more a few seconds later.

“We were outside barbecuing when we heard a couple of gunshots and then two seconds later I heard police go down to the scene,” West said.

Some of her children were out, and West was worried they may have been caught in the crossfire. When she got to the scene, she saw Michael lying on the sidewalk and officers trying to revive him.

“I don’t know if he was the intended target, but we do know that they more than likely knew each other,” Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said.

Neighbors said they heard shouts exchanged between two groups all weekend. Police were called, things settled down and officers left. Shortly thereafter, at least one person came back with a gun.

Hadley said the situation “isn’t acceptable.”

“To have someone of that age die in our streets is almost unconscionable,” Hadley said. “Regardless of his background, regardless of what he had been doing or who he was involved with, at the end of the day, you’ve got a 13-year-old boy — and I’ll say boy because he’s 13 — that’s no longer with us, and that’s just not acceptable.”

Police said they have arrested the 18-year-old shooter on unrelated charges. They are not yet releasing his name. He could be charged with murder.

“The crime was senseless,” a statement from a family spokesperson said. “He did not have to take Michael’s life away. He took away our baby boy. We can never see him, hear his voice or hold him. I home the shooter gets his max sentence!”

Michael had also been shot a few months ago. Police said that incident did not result in any charges because witnesses were cooperative.

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