Police: Shooting "Not a Random Act of Violence"

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After Wyoming Police searched for two subjects in what was thought to be a random shooting, they now believe the crime was not random and did not happen within Wyoming city limits.

The case has been handed over the investigation into the Sunday fatal shooting to Kentwood police after the crime scene was determinted to be within Kentwood city limits.

In a new wrinkle, the shooting is now believed to be related to a drug sale and not a random crime, according to investigators.

The victim has been identified by family as Michael Bockheim, 29.

"I don't know that it was premeditated case," said Kentwood Police Chief Richard Mattice, "but it was a case that did involve criminal activity to begin with. That meaning: there was a potential drug sale occurring at the time of the homicide."

The deadly shooting was originally thought to have taken place in an eastbound lane on Burton Street near Clyde Park Avenue around 8:36 p.m Sunday. According to the driver, two men approached a vehicle that was waiting on a red light at the intersection.

He told detectives that one of the men armed with a handgun opened the driver's side door of the vehicle and demanded money from the two people in the car.  The driver told the suspect he didn't have any money, and the suspect fired one round into the vehicle, striking Bockheim.

The driver, also from Wyoming, hit the gas and called 911 while rushing to the hospital.  He stopped near the intersection of Barberry Street and Byron Center Avenue to administer CPR on Bockheim, but Bockheim died at the scene.

Detectives say the driver later changed his story, and the focus of the investigation changed.

"We think that it will be a complex case that will take some time," said Mattice.

Bockheim's family members are upset and want answers.

"We would like to know the truth," said Jennifer Smith, Bockheim's cousin. "What happened? That's the biggest question. We need closure."

Bockheim, who had no criminal record, was the father of two young children and grew up in Hudsonville. Police say he lived in Wyoming. Family members say the white van on the scene belonged to him.

Kentwood police are expected to release more information on Tuesday.

(William Frederick and Jonathan Seely contributed to this report)

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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