Assault victim’s family asks tipsters to come forward

Julius Vinson
An undated photo of Julius Vinson courtesy Facebook.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Family members of a young man who died following an assault gathered Tuesday to make a public statement for the first time since the incident happened.

Julius Vinson III, 25, died in the hospital Monday, three days after police say he was badly injured in a fight in south Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Police Department has said little about what happened other than the fact that they believe the fight happened on Vineland Avenue south of 28th Street sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday.

Vinson’s family gathered before news cameras Tuesday afternoon to speak about their loss and to ask the public for help in solving this case.

“At this moment, whatever it is, whatever you know, if anybody knows anything, come forward. He has a family who loves him,” Tamika Griver, the victim’s sister, said.

While she said the family wants answers, she said it won’t bring closure.

“It will never bring him back,” she said through tears.

Julius Vinson III
Julius Vinson III’s family speaks to members of the media on April 4, 2017, asking anyone with information about his death to come forward. Left to right: father Julius Vinson, Jr., mother Tonya Wilkins and sister Tamika Griver.

Vinson was a student at Grand Rapids Community College studying business, his family said. He had plans to get involved in real estate.

“He was well loved,” his mother, Tonya Wilkins, said. “He is truly going to be missed.”

“I always tell everybody I have three sons,” Julius Vinson, Jr., the victim’s father, said. “That’s hard to break that down that it’s only two now.”

Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Terry Dixon, the public information officer for GRPD, said officers were still working to gather information about what happened. He said there was no new information to release about the case and that no arrests had been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.