Foster father talks of Meijer stabbing suspect's criminal past

William Bowers, the foster father of stabbing suspect Victor Gonzales, says he knew it was Gonzales in the photos distributed by police.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A man on the run for about two days since allegedly stabbing a woman in a Meijer parking lot was himself shot by a Grand Rapids police officer.

Police later identified the suspect as 20-year-old Victor Gonzalez, who is believed to have followed a 25-year-old Grand Rapids to her car at the Meijer store on Alpine Avenue and stabbed her. He tried to get away in her car but was chased off on foot.

The woman was treated for stab wounds and released from the hospital.

►Related: Suspect caught on camera around time of Meijer parking lot stabbing
►Related: Police: Woman stabbed in Meijer parking lot during carjacking 

William Bowers identified Gonzalez to WZZM 13 as the suspect in the Walker incident. Bowers says he was Gonzalez's foster father for about two years.

"As soon as I saw the picture, I knew it was Victor," said Bowers, speaking of the photos police released in the Meijer incident. "We actually thought he was a fairly decent kid and then we found out the kind of the dark side of him. 

"He's got some criminal tendencies." 

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Gonzalez is currently on parole. He was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony, in 2014.

"I think he kind of took a turn for the worse; it wasn't just petty stuff," Bowers said. "It wasn't just property crimes, so it doesn't surprise me that much."

Police saw Gonzalez after being tipped off during morning Saturday, March 11, that he was inside the Steel Cat Bar on Grand Rapids' Northwest Side. While an officer investigated, Gonzalez then fled to another business at 608 Bridge St. NW. 

After a short pursuit around 9 a.m., Gonzalez attempted to flee out of the back of the building. At that time, an officer shot and wounded Gonzalez.

"These are very serious incidents, I can promise you that thorough investigation from all angles will take place as a result of this incident," Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Terry Dixon, said on Saturday.

Police would not say how many times Gonzalez was shot nor if he were armed, but they did tell WZZM 13 he suffered a stomach wound.

No officers were injured in the shooting. Michigan State Police have been called to investigate the incident.

Per policy, the officer involved is placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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© 2017 WZZM-TV


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