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Grand Rapids Police Department MI
Monday September 9th, 2019 :: 04:32 p.m. EDT


11th 2019 homicide in GR takes the life of 60 year old Jeffrey Mathews. He was the unintended target of gunfire.

A shooting early Sunday morning on the city's northeast side takes the life of a 60 year old Grand Rapids resident who "was at the wrong place at the wrong time".

The 911 call came in around 2:30 am, September 8, 2019, to the 1000 block of Clancy Av NE.  Callers reported hearing the sound of shots, and then moments later, an additional call came in saying that a victim had been shot.  Officers arrived in the residential neighborhood and found 60 year old Jeffrey Mathews suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.  Mathews was taken to an area hospital where he died hours later.  

Today, a medical examination was completed by the Kent County Medical Examiners Office and they have determined that Mathews died from a gunshot wound calling his death a homicide.  Grand Rapids Police Investigators have been working this case since the time of Mathews death, but so far no one is in custody.  What GRPD has learned is that there was a large crowd in the 1000 block of Clancy Av NE prior to the shooting leaning toward the possibility that there may be dozens of witnesses that have yet to come forward.

GRPD Det. Sergeant John Purlee, who is leading the team of investigators in this case, said this case is a tragedy.  "We have reason to believe that Mr. Mathews was not the intended target and the bullet was meant for someone else.  The death of this man is a tragedy, and his family has unanswered questions.  We need to locate the person who was the intended target as well as the shooter before we have a retaliation shooting and another life is lost."  

If you have any information regarding this case you may contact one of the investigators directly or anonymously leave information with Silent Observer at

Sgt. John Purlee         (616) 456-3343
Det. Adam Baylis        (616) 456-3648
Det. Kelli Braate          (616) 456-4548
Det. Jim Jorgensen     (616) 456-4151



Grand Rapids Police Department MI
1 Monroe Center NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 616-456-3400

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