GRAND RAPIDS—Like other grieving parents across Michigan, Antionette Evans said she is still groping for answers in the shooting of her 16-year-old son.
“It is unbearable, just unbearable. Some days I don’t even want to come out of my room,” Evans said last week as she fought back tears in her living room. Her son Ja’Juan Webb was killed July 4 just blocks from home. Police arrested a suspect in Georgia four days later.
The boy’s death marked the fourth fatal shooting of a Grand Rapids teenager this year, and added to a bleak surge in violent crime plaguing some Michigan cities. As theories abound on the cause, police, prosecutors, politicians and business leaders scramble to find effective solutions.
In the first seven months of 2022, Grand Rapids recorded 3,363 crimes, including 761 assaults and 15 homicides ─ all above averages for the previous three years.
In Oakland County, there