Grieving family of Patrick Lyoya wants answers in fatal police shooting
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The grieving family of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old man fatally shot by a Grand Rapids police officer, wants answers in his death.
Lyoya had an altercation during an April 4 traffic stop that ended with Lyoya face down on the ground and being shot in the back of the head.
The city’s new police chief took the unusual step of releasing videos of the violent confrontation over objections of the prosecutor, who will ultimately decide whether the officer should be charged.
Lyoya’s parents said the last thing they heard from their son was a promise he would visit them soon. They’re still in shock over his death.
“He was the one who left me,” said Dorcas Lyoya, Patrick’s mother. “And I am the one burying my son. "
His parents brought Patrick Lyoya to Michigan eight years ago to escape violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo. He leaves behind two children and five siblings.
Lyoya’s parents said he loved music and dancing. They said he dreamed of becoming a soccer player and was raised to work hard and always respect others.
“I raised my son not to be violent, not to fight, not to argue or to be in a physical confrontation with anybody,” Peter Lyoya said. “He didn’t even know how to fight.”
They are demanding Grand Rapids Police Department release the name of the officer who killed their son. The officer is on paid administrative leave while the Michigan State Police investigate.
Lyoya’s mother said she will never have another son like Patrick.
“I want you to go in peace,” Dorcas Lyoya said. “You have leave a wound in my heart that will never be healed. You have broke my soul.”
The family is grieving while they wait for answers.
Grand Rapids police said they will not release the name of the officer unless criminal charges are filed. That decision will be up to the Kent County prosecutor after Michigan State Police’s investigation is finished.
The department has put a temporary policy in place that orders two officers per police cruiser.
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