GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Police say a man watering his lawn was caught in the crossfire on the city's southeast side. The shooting happened around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Thomas Street and Neland Avenue SE.
Witnesses say a black teenage male was shooting at the driver of a black Pontiac when Willie Ware, 67, jumped in front of his 7-year-old grandson to protect him. Ware was struck in his leg and he was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
Police say he was not the intended target of the shooting and now some are calling Ware a hero.
"I'm very proud of my dad and I love him," says Cassandra Ware, who was home when she received the call that her father was shot.
Charles Jordan lives on the corner of Thomas and Neland and heard the shots. "I was sitting in the living room with my kids and I heard three gunshots go off," said Jordan. "(I) looked out the window and see a young man stick the gun in his pants and started walking down Neland."
"He was in a lot of pain, he had a bullet wound through his left leg. They said that it had hit his femur, and put steel rods in his legs," said Cassandra Ware.
According to law enforcement dispatch, Grand Rapids Police had requested the Michigan State Police helicopter to fly over the area, however the chopper was on patrol 40 minutes away.
Police have stepped up patrols in the that area in case of a retaliation. No suspects are in custody.