West Michigan father of slain Army sergeant speaks out


    Police are searching for the person who shot and killed Tyrone Hassel III outside his parents' home in St. Joseph Township (Photo Courtesy: Tyrone Hassel Jr.)

    A West Michigan father is mourning the death of his son as police search for his killer.

    St. Joseph Township police say someone shot 23-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant Tyrone Hassel III on New Year's Eve.

    Family says Hassel was on leave in West Michigan, visiting for the holidays, when shots rang out in front of his parents' home on Colfax Avenue just after 11:00 p.m. Monday.

    "I don't know nobody who hate my son, he had no enemies," said Tyrone Hassel Jr.

    At this point, St. Joseph Township Police don't have anyone in custody. Hassel's family calls what happened an unspeakable tragedy.

    "He was initially planning to leave on Wednesday, but his wife's birthday is on January 3rd, so they decided they would stay for a couple of extra days," said Hassel's father.

    Tyrone Hassel Jr. was with his son at a nearby New Year's gathering moments before the shooting Monday night. He said Tyrone left to deliver a plate of food to his wife.

    "I told him to hurry up back. because I didn't want him out there at midnight," said Hassel Jr.

    Minutes later, Hassel Jr. said his son was shot as he walked out the door.

    "He came back out the house and somebody shot him," said Hassel Jr. "I don't know if somebody followed him."

    Police found the Army sergeant's body in the driveway with multiple gunshot wounds. Hassel later died at a local hospital.

    "I was like holy crap, are you kidding me?" said neighbor Dave Slavicek.

    Residents in this normally quiet neighborhood remain rattled by what happened.

    "They had signs up in their yard. They're very proud of him being in the Army, but it's a tragedy," Slavicek said.

    Hassel III is survived by his wife and their 1-year-old son.

    "He made me proud of everything he did," said Hassel Jr.

    Meanwhile, the Hassel family is working to seek justice.

    "I think if anyone know anything they would come forward, so we can put this behind us," said Hassel Jr.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact the St. Joseph Township Police Department at 269-429-6890.

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