Family still seeks answers in 2012 homicide

An undated courtesy photo of Terrance Stokes.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been three years since a Detroit 19-year-old was shot and killed in Grand Rapids, but his murder remains unsolved.

Monday, the family of Terrance Stokes gathered at MacKay-Jaycees Park off 28th Street in Grand Rapids to remember him and plead for justice. The park is across the street from Woodlawn Cemetery, where Stokes is buried.

Terrance Stokes' headstone. (June 15, 2015)
Terrance Stokes’ headstone. (June 15, 2015)

Stokes, who was living in Detroit, was shot and killed in Grand Rapids in June 2012.

“It seem like, you know, they aren’t doing anything about it,” his mother, Lisa Johnson, said of investigators. “So I’m out here trying to makes something happen.”

Johnson is frustrated by the lack of an arrest in the case.

“My son, he was in trouble. He’s wasn’t an angel, he wasn’t a saint, but he was my child and he didn’t deserve to be murdered,” she said.

Johnson said that the night before her son was murdered, he was picked up from Detroit and brought to Grand Rapids with an acquaintance. Just before 1 a.m. the next day, he was found dead on the back steps to an upper duplex on Travis Street NE. He had been shot in the head.

“The neighbor said he was pleading for his life,” said Johnson. “(He) said, ‘Bro, don’t do it. Bro, stop.”

Johnson says her son’s body sat on the steps for at least half an hour before anyone came to help or called 911.

“Our kids tell us that they are going somewhere, but that don’t mean that they are going,” warned Johnson. “Mothers, please check on your kids, because ain’t no telling.”

The family is asking anyone who has information about the murder to come forward. They are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.

“Can’t do nothing but pray for justice,” Johnson said.

Anyone with information can call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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