GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Video showed a gunman chasing a man before a witness said he shot the victim in the head as he pleaded for his life.
Camreil Evans, 28, was killed in broad daylight on Dec. 22 on Prospect Avenue SE, just south of Cherry Street in an area of Heritage Hill.
“It was an execution in cold blood,” said Gerard Faber, Kent County deputy prosecutor, Friday February 12, during a preliminary examination of the suspect, Calvin Stewart, 25.
Grand Rapids Police arrested Stewart after a short chase and crashed about two hours after the 11:15 a.m. murder.
After hearing several witnesses, Grand Rapids District Judge Jennifer Faber ordered Stewart to attend her trial in Kent County Circuit Court on several counts, including murder in broad daylight.
The judge is not linked to the prosecutor.
Police say the victim was walking on the sidewalk in Prospect when someone shot him from a Buick Rainier.
Shane Sarver, in a work truck backed into an alley, heard what he thought were two shots. He saw nothing, then heard more shots, followed by a man in a red sweatshirt running past. Another man, with a gun in his hand, was chasing, he said.
The Rainier then rushed towards the shooter and the victim.
Sarver heard more gunshots before seeing the victim on the ground, raising his hand, pleading for his life. He was shot dead again.
After that, Sarver said, “I don’t believe he was still alive.”
Between three shots, the gunman twice ran towards the sport utility vehicle – he apparently could not open a locked door – before shooting the victim again, the witness said. The gunman then entered and fled.
Sarver couldn’t say for sure that Stewart, sitting at the defense table with his attorney, Kenneth Stovall, was the shooter.
Another witness, who heard five to ten gunshots, said he took a photo of the Rainier, which had no license plate and tinted windows.
Lt. Jonathan Wu of the Grand Rapids Police, in charge of the vice unit, was conducting surveillance on Hamilton Avenue NW, south of Leonard Street, when he spotted the Rainer.
He called patrol cars as the police established a loose perimeter.
The vehicle fled at “high speed” when the first officer, Robert Swantek, arrived at the scene. Swantek continued before the driver applied the brakes and Swantek drove his patrol car in the back of the SUV.
The Rainer veered left, struck a curb, and fell on the cruiser before tipping over to the passenger side.
Stewart was driving and was quickly pulled over, Swantek said.
Police found a loaded semi-automatic handgun partially concealed in a cushion of the SUV. Police said Stewart possessed crack cocaine and nearly $ 1,500.
The defense argued that witnesses could not identify his client as the shooter. He noted that Sarver, the witness, said the shooter was missing his front teeth while Stewart showed the court he had his.
The prosecutor said the witness mistook the shooter for the victim. It would not be unusual in such a brief and intense incident, the prosecutor said.
The defense also took issue with the prosecutor’s claim that the shooter was wearing distinctive clothing similar to what Stewart wore during his arrest.
The hearing was broadcast on YouTube to limit the number of people in the courtroom to prevent the spread of COVID-19.