Breaking News
More () »

Mom pushes for change after son shot at Grand Rapids bar

Ruben Robelin, an innocent bystander, was shot after a fight broke out at Metro Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Police recently identified a person of interest in the December 2019 shooting of Ruben Robelin, and his mother says she won't let up until justice is served by all those responsible. 

"I would like justice for the person who committed this crime, as well as, the bar to be held liable for the negligence on their part," Raquel Robelin said on Friday. 

Ruben Robelin, 30, was shot after a fight broke out on Dec. 28 at Metro Grand Rapids, a bar on South Division.

"My son got shot as an innocent bystander," Raquel Robelin said. "No parent should ever have to go through seeing their child in this type of pain, suffering or possibly even die."

Ruben Robelin was taken to the hospital where he spent several days on a ventilator and underwent multiple surgeries. He has since been released from the hospital, but his road to a full recovery is long.

He is a father to a 1-year-old son and works as an accountant in Chicago, where he had just moved months prior. Ruben Robelin was home visiting family for the holidays when he was injured. 

Grand Rapids Police have now identified 38-year-old Robert Walton as a person of interest in the shooting. 

Raquel Robelin is calling on the owner of Metro Grand Rapids to step up security to ensure this never happens again. The owner of the bar said all patrons were screened for weapons. 

"Somehow someway somebody got into this establishment with a gun," she said.

The mother said she denied offers from the bar to host a fundraiser for her son.

"At that point, I just didn't want anything to do with this bar. I was upset with them for not doing their job properly," Raquel Robelin. 

Joshua Sadowski, the owner operator of Metro Grand Rapids, provided the following statement: 

"Our primary goal is to ensure patrons have an enjoyable and safe experience when they come to our club. Before we opened our doors, we worked with professional security experts to ensure we had the technology and processes in place to provide a safe environment. We have a code of conduct we expect everyone to adhere to and a zero-tolerance policy for disruptive behavior. We use a professional security team who screen all patrons before they enter and continue to monitor activities in the club. We invested in security cameras throughout the club."

More stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:

► Emma Nicolas is a multimedia journalist. Have a news tip or question for Emma? Get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Before You Leave, Check This Out