GRPD pleads for tips after woman, 2-year-old fatally shot

Germaine Brown, King Talbert
Left: Germaine Brown. Right: King Talbert. (Undated courtesy photos)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are pleading for the public to come forward with tips that may aid in the investigation of a double homicide of a woman and her 2-year-old grandson.

The Grand Rapids Police Department held a news conference Thursday afternoon but released little information in the case involving 46-year-old Germaine Brown and King Talbert, who were found with gunshot wounds at Brown’s southeast side home Wednesday while Brown was babysitting King.

Germaine Brown, King Talbert
Photos: Germaine Brown and King Talbert.

Police would not discuss whether they had information on a motive or the number of shots that were fired. GRPD Chief David Rahinsky said it was too early to release specifics but asked that anyone with tips come forward — no matter how insignificant those tips may seem.

“While we’re actively working this case, we believe there’s someone out there in the community who may know an additional piece of this puzzle,” Rahinsky said.

Emergency responders were called to Brown’s home in the 200 block of Montgomery Street SE, east of Jefferson Avenue, around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday for a medical call.

Brown and the King were found with gunshot wounds. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene and King was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where he died from his injuries late Wednesday night.

Brown’s husband called 911 to report the incident. He was taken in for questioning by police and was released after it was determined he was not a suspect, GRPD Sgt. Cathy Williams told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday morning.

An autopsy took place Thursday to determine the cause and manner of death. Police would not release details on the results.

Anyone with information should call Lt. Kristen Rogers at 616.456.4079, Det. Eric Fannon at 616.456.3348, Det. Amy Lowrie at 616.456.3427 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.


Family says they’re devastated. They can’t believe anyone would want to hurt Brown or King.

“She will welcome you, feed you and everything. And it’s just like if you come over, ‘Hey cuz, you hungry? You want something to eat? You want a beer or something?’ And that’s how she was and it was with everybody,” Brown’s cousin, Leonora Jones, said.

Brown was recalled as a family woman who was dedicated to her grandchildren.

“And it’s sad that her life ended the way it ended because she had a whole lot to offer a lot of people,” Jones said. “And she just opened up and gave all she could to everybody to family, friends, anybody. That’s the kind of person she was.”

When asked if Brown had any enemies, Jones replied, “No.”

“People loved Germaine,” she said.

In a Thursday Facebook post, Kent County Commissioner and radio show host Robert S. Womack recalled Brown was a childhood friend and said the murders “broke my soul.”

Jones says the family has a message to whoever committed the horrific crime:

“I just hope that they get what’s coming to them,” she said. “The system take care of whatever you have to take care of because they took two lives that was precious and they was precious to a lot of people.”

A memorial fund has been created in King’s name on GoFundMe.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this story.