Zamarian Cooper had big plans in life. He played three different types of saxophone, says his mother, and he was going to college on a scholarship to play music.
The 16-year-old Cooper was shot and killed Saturday while he walked his sister home from a neighborhood party in Muskegon, Michigan, police stated at a press conference on Wednesday. Police say Cooper was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a dispute between others.
“He was going to be something,” his sister Zaquia Cooper told local news station WOOD8. “He was going to get out of Muskegon and do so much stuff with his life.”
Instead, the boy’s mother is preparing to bury her only son, she told the station.
“I’ve got to bury my baby, my first-born son, my only son,” his mother Keata Bailey told reporters. “They don’t understand the pain that the parents feel. That’s a pain deep down inside that will never be able to be healed.”
On Wednesday, police announced they arrested a 16-year-old boy, who they allege was one of four shooters involved.
Muskegon Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis pleaded with the public for any information so they can make additional arrests.
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“Something went terribly wrong. But what we can ascertain, there’s no real reason why this happened, except some tempers flared,” Lewis said during a press conference. “And the next thing you know, we had rapid gunfire at a teen party.”
Lewis said Cooper was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“He was not a target. He was a victim of circumstance,” Lewis said. “Because when these four shooters were firing, it was relatively indiscriminate. And I believe he was just in the line of that fire.”
Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson said it’s important for witnesses, who possibly recorded the shooting with their cell phones, to come forward with any information they may have.
“In order for us to bring justice to the young man, the community needs to step forward,” Hilson said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 231-724-6750.