A celebration of life turns to tragedy as two Battle Creek residents were shot and killed in the early morning hours of June 16th.

The Battle Creek Police responded to the 100 block of West Rittenhouse around 12:30 a.m. after shots rang out in the area. Roughly 100 people were still at the scene in shock and confusion after two people, 30-year-old Leon Jackson and 23-year-old Diamond King, were found with single gunshot wounds. Both victims were taken to Bronson Battle Creek for treatment. King was later transferred to Bronson Kalamazoo, but both would later be pronounced dead.

Detective Sergeant Joel Case stated that at least two suspects are being sought in the murders. Authorities identified at least two subjects were seen in an area between two homes just south of the party. Witnesses stated that it was too dark in the area to see but saw two shadows where gunfire was seen. Investigators collected shell casings from two different calibers between the homes. Authorities are also looking for two other subjects, who they believe fired their handguns in return from the large gathering.

The celebration began around 10 p.m. on June 15th following the October 2019 death of 23-year-old Elijah Williams, who was shot and killed in a fight at a party. Williams would have turned 24. Det. Case made mention that officers on the beat reported between 200 and 300 people were at the party.

The large number of people still on the scene after the shooting delayed the initial response. Det. Case said that other departments were called in to assist mainly for crowd control. Due to fireworks that were also at the celebration, some of the people there may have been confused from the events that took place.

Investigators believe that Jackson and King were not intended targets in the shooting and that it may have been a random shooting of opportunity.

The deaths of Jackson and King are the fifth and sixth murders in Calhoun County.

If you have any information on this case, please contact the Calhoun County Consolidated Dispatch at (269) 781-0911 or Silent Observer at (269) 964-3888.

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