The name of the victim in Saturday’s shooting in Hanover Township, near Buckley, has been released by Wexford County Sheriff’s Office. The victim, 19 year-old Jayce Alexander Thompson, of Mancelona, died after allegedly being shot by another 19 year-old Demont Storm, during a bonfire Saturday.
The investigation is still ongoing and deputies and partnering agencies are asking the public’s help in piecing together what happened before shots were fired. It’s reported that witnesses at the bonfire, estimations are over 50 people, recorded the confrontation and resulting gunshots. The videos are allegedly circulating around online and to other people.
“Social media has a way of interweaving in everything we do in society nowadays,” says Detective Sergeant Chris Piskor of Wexford County Sheriff’s Office. “There is a very high probability that people were recording or taking pictures. We’ve asked previously, and we continue to ask, anybody that had done so to contact the sheriff’s office, that information is extremely useful in an investigation such as this.”
Piskor arrived on scene roughly four hours after deputies from Wexford County arrived at the scene of the crime at 12:07 AM – five minutes after central dispatch received the call. Detectives had to wait for the crime lab near Grayling to arrive and conduct their investigation first.
“We had contacted the Michigan State Police Grayling Forensic Laboratory and requested their assistance at the scene,” says Piskor. “We had to wait for their arrival, which in a situation like this is kind of a standard operating procedure.”
At that point, Storm had left the crime scene. He was later spotted on foot by a motorist and picked up by Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently detained.
“A citizen motorist was passing by, M-37 in the Grand Traverse County,” says Piskor. “They observed somebody who they thought fit the description based on the report that they had heard. They called in the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the area. They observed the individual, position themselves and eventually made contact with them without incident.”
Piskor says when he surveyed the scene- on N 15 and W 12 Roads- he noticed a large amount of litter in the area, suggesting the spot, located on state land, had been used for large gatherings in the past.
“This area appears to have been heavily used in the past,” he says. “There’s lots of litter. There’s lots of indicators that there is probably more than likely alcohol present.”
It’s unclear if there were underage people at the bonfire who may have witnessed the shooting. It is typical for schools to offer counseling and support for students who experience trauma. It’s not confirmed exactly how many people were at the bonfire or if alcohol played a large factor in the shooting. The motive is still undetermined.
“We need to hear from people so we know absolutely what happened,” Piskor says. “The only people that can tell us that are the people that were there. You’re not telling on somebody. You’re providing details so that a clear picture can be constructed so that people that are responsible are held accountable.”
This where law enforcement are asking for help from witnesses.
“Whether it be deputies or state troopers or city police officers from anywhere around northern Michigan, it’s talking to people and getting their statements,” says Piskor. “Eyewitnesses are great, but nothing tells a picture like video or photographs. So we’ve pushed all for that. I’m aware of social media posts that were taking place during, after. Even today, social media is still involved with this.”
© 2023 - 910 Media Group