3rd New Year’s-related Western Michigan death may be from celebratory gunfire

3 deaths reported in early moments of 2023

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A third death in Western Michigan in the early moments of the new year may have been caused by celebratory gunfire, Grand Rapids police said Tuesday.

The medical examiner has ruled the death of 16-year-old Joseph “Jo-Jo” Ivory Jr. a homicide from a single gunshot wound, police said.

Investigators are following up on reports of celebratory gunfire near the victim at the time he was shot while driving a stolen car, police said.

“Although it is too soon to draw definitive conclusions regarding the bullet that killed him, there were multiple firearms being shot in close proximity to Ivory as a form of holiday celebration,” Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.

In Lawrence Township, two men died after being shot when a man fired a gun in celebration during a fireworks display at a New Year’s party.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that that shooting killed David Reed, 35, of Waverly Township and Jason McCreary, 40, of Sutter Creek, California.

Reed, who was shot in the back, died at a hospital and McCreary, who was shot in the head, died at the scene, deputies said.

The shooting happened around 12:05 a.m. Sunday, deputies said.

A 62-year-old man was arrested on multiple counts of reckless discharge of a firearm causing death, WWMT-TV reported.