BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Crediting help from the community, Battle Creek police have arrested three people who they say are responsible for a drive-by shooting that killed a 2-year-old.
“The outrage from the community with this specific crime was significant and that’s why we saw such an outpouring of information, people willing to help and wanting to help in bringing these suspects to justice,” Battle Creek Police Department Detective Sgt. Chris Rabbitt said at a Friday news conference. “People wanted to see justice for Kai Turner.”
The suspects are all in their mid- to late teens, but Rabbitt would not release their precise ages. One was arrested late Thursday night at a house in the Detroit area. The other two were arrested in Battle Creek — one on Wednesday and one Thursday.
Police say they are seeking open murder and weapons charges against all three. It’s the county prosecutor’s job to determine exactly what charges will be filed.
“There’s nothing you can say (to Kai’s family), there’s no putting yourself in that person’s shoes. There’s no way we can comprehend what that mother and that family’s going through,” Rabbitt said. “…The outrage that the community felt, it was felt here (among police). … That was part of the motivation and the drive that these investigators put forward in finding these suspects.”
The shooting happened around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday on Cliff Street near Douglas Street, east of Main Street. Police say an Audi Q7 drove by and people inside fired into a house that contains apartments. A number of shots were fired and Rabbitt said investigators believe multiple guns were involved.
Kai Turner, 2, who was on the second floor, was shot once in the head and died later that day at the hospital.
Rabbitt said police now think the intended targets were in a different apartment in the same house.
The Q7 was found later Tuesday in the area of Wagner Drive. It had been stolen on West Colombia Avenue in Battle Creek Sunday.
Rabbitt said the arrests were the result of “numerous” of tips from the public, including through Silent Observer, and work with other police agencies, including the Detroit Area Michigan State Police Fugitive Team and the Michigan Department of Corrections-Probation and Parole. Searches were conducted Thursday that police say yielded guns, ammunition and “other property (police) suspected was used in the murder.”
The suspects were taken to the county jail and county youth center. Authorities generally will not release suspects’ names until they are arraigned and if they are tried in juvenile court, their names may never be made public.