Driver killed in Muskegon Heights shooting

Man who was shot identified by friends as Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson
An undated photo of Gary Thompson from his Facebook page.


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Police in the Muskegon area are looking for whoever shot and killed a driver Wednesday afternoon.

Friends identified the man who died as Gary Thompson, known as “Lil Man” to those close to him. They created a memorial near the scene where he died.

Gary Thompson
An undated photo of Gary Thompson from his Facebook page.

Thompson was described as a hardworking young man with a good heart.

“All he focused on was his brother and his family. Lil Man ain’t do nothing to nobody,” close friend Jobbar Thomas told 24 Hour News 8.

Muskegon Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis told 24 Hour News 8 he believes the shooting happened near the intersection of Peck Street and Delano Avenue in Muskegon Heights. He said that after several shots were fired, the victim’s vehicle continued north, coming to a stop at Peck Street and East Holbrook Avenue in Muskegon. The driver then fell out of his car.

Lindsey McDonald heard the shots when she was picking up her children at a nearby bus stop.

“When we got here, basically that boy was getting out of the car — the boy who got shot. His girlfriend was already out. He was flipping out and he like stood up like he was going to make it and then he, like, threw up. After that he was done,” she said.

Thompson, 23, had sustained a gunshot wound to the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

According to Lewis, there were three other people in the car with Thompson. Two of them took off before police arrived. A third was being questioned Wednesday afternoon.

A 24 Hour News 8 crew counted nine shell casings marked by investigators at the scene near Delano, as well as more inside the car.

According to a Thursday release from police, the shots were fired by someone in a dark-colored van that was also headed north on Peck. Shots were initially fired near Delano and then again near Holbrook.

Employees at a radio station next to the scene where the car came to a stop said they have turned their surveillance video over to police.

“It’s pretty scary. It’s sad,” McDonald said. “Kids come play at the park (near where the car stopped) every day. You can’t even let your kids out of your sight nowadays and people are getting shot for no reason.”

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call Muskegon police at 231.724.6750, Muskegon Heights police at 231.733.8900 or Silent Observer at 231.722.7463.

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