At around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, Kalamazoo police responded to a report of a shooting near the campus of Western Michigan University. They arrived to find 19-year-old WMU student Jacob Ryan Jones dead, and a day later they arrested 20-year-old WMU basketball player Joeviair Kennedy as part of a felony homicide investigation. This morning, Kennedy was formally charged with murder and armed robbery. He was also charged with an additional pair of felony gun charges, per the Kalamazoo Gazette.
According to testimony in Kalamazoo County Court this morning at Kennedy’s arraignment, Jones was shot as part of a botched robbery. Two robbers allegedly held Jones and friends up at gunpoint, and Jones was shot after he unexpectedly stood up from a couch. A phone that was found at the scene allegedly connected the deputies investigating the case to Kennedy:
The robbers demanded cash, marijuana and phones from the four other people at the apartment before one of the victims tackled one of the intruders, the detective testified, resulting in two phones being dropped. The robbers fled and the victims locked the door behind them, witnesses told police.
Detectives called 911 using the two phones and found one was associated with Joeviair Kennedy, based on a June 2016 complaint made from the number to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, the detective said, and the other phone belonged to Jones.
Kennedy is no longer on WMU’s website, and the school announced that he had been suspended on Friday. WMU Steve Hawkins addressed the shooting last Friday, calling it “a devastating loss for our university.”