GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-Three children are searching for answers after a shooting in Grand Rapids robbed them of their father.
Early Saturday morning, police say a group of uninvited guests showed up at a birthday party inside a home in the 3200 block of Marshall Avenue SE and got into an argument with the people inside. One of the uninvited guests took out a handgun; that's when 30-year-old Derecko Jamal Martin jumped into action.
"What I'm hearing is that somebody tried to shoot at his brother and Derecko wrestled the gun away or was trying to wrestle the gun away, and that's when the man shot him. So he was trying to protect his brother, which is, that was how he was; he was about family," said Martin's former girlfriend, Stevie Victoria Brown.
Martin was taken to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries. His brother, 23-year-old Phillip Duane Williams, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg and arm.
Brown says Martin was always dedicated to his family. When he found out their oldest daughter had cerebral palsy, he made sure she made it to her therapy sessions.
"When I used to get made fun of at school, I would go home and tell him, and he would say that they don't know how special you are," says 11-year-old Lovely Martin, as wipes away her tears.
"His whole life was the kids. That's all he cared about. He was always at all the conferences, and he constantly took them to the festivals, the carnivals. He rarely went out. It was just all about the kids," adds Brown. "It's terrible because of a senseless act that they don't have a father anymore."
Martin leaves behind two other children; an eight-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. All three of the children were clutching pictures of their father Saturday night.
Police are still looking for Martin's killer. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call police or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.