KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Threats of retaliation over the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy have led police to beef up patrols in the Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood.
“We’ve taken some calls from folks who said they’ve heard information that folks will be retaliating against the shooting, for the victim,” said Kalamazoo Public Safety Assistant Chief Donald Webster. “So, we have upped our police presence in that area.”
A 24 Hour News crew on Friday spotted patrol cars every few minutes in the area of Lay Boulevard and Race Street, near where the shooting happened.
“We don’t know how credible these threats have been, but we’re not taking any of them lightly,” Webster said.
Michael Day was gunned down on Memorial Day as he rode his bike near his home.
It’s still not clear why.
It was the second time the 13-year-old was shot in six weeks. He got hit in the back by gunfire on April 6, but nobody was arrested because nobody cooperated, Webster said.
On Thursday, police arrested 15-year-old Victor Garay in the fatal shooting.
They are investigating reports the shooting was gang-related, though they haven’t confirmed it yet, Webster said.
Neighbors welcomed the extra patrols, while, at the same time, they spoke up for their neighborhood.
“I love the neighborhood, I’ve always this loved this neighborhood, and I like the diversity in the neighborhood,” said Mary May, who has lived on Lay Boulevard for 25 years.
On Friday, she and her husband watered their perfectly trimmed lawn, along with the roses that were blooming for the first time this spring.
They acknowledged, though, that the shooting a few doors down shook their sense of security.
“I’ve been here 25 years,” she said. “I’ve never had anything. Nothing. What we hear about the shooting is not anything that we’re even familiar with. They’re talking gangs; they’re talking turf.”
Neighbor Glenda Smith blames the trouble on new tenants who recently moved in down the street.
“This is a very good, quiet neighborhood,” she said. “We’ve just got some people who’ve moved in here that’s not that nice.”
She’d rather focus on the neighborhood’s positive — most notably the new Washington Writers’ Academy school being built across the street.
“Look at this school,” she said. “We’ve got something very positive coming around here and we want to keep it positive. I just don’t want everybody to think that our neighborhood is a bad neighborhood.”