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Jennifer Swett was sleeping soundly at home early the morning of August 6th – until her boyfriend burst in through the front door.
“And he was screaming, ‘Baby, baby, I’ve been shot,’” says Swett. 32-year-old Grove had indeed been shot in the arm, and he was losing a lot of blood.
“I jumped up, and by that time he was already in the bathroom, with his arm under the faucet,” she says. Grove was later Mercy Flighted to the hospital in Rochester, where he died later that morning.
“David was a very good father,” Swett says, recalling her time with him. “He has two kids, and he’s adopted…my children also,” she says. Swett smiles as she recounts how the people in their West State Street neighborhood loved David, too.
“He was very handy. Every time I go outside, they always tell me ‘I wish he was here…I have some work for him to do,’” Swett says.
The reason David is gone, is simple: he was shot while allegedly burglarizing the basement of a fire-damaged Village of Albion home.
But the simplicity ends there. In interviews with local media including WBTA News, Albion Police have never formally identified a suspect in the shooting. The department just completed a formal investigation into the shooting last week, and then forwarded the case to the District Attorney and a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury returned a “No Bill” and the police department closed the case – and that means that no one will be charged, tried or convicted in the shooting death of David Grove. The suspect in the case will go unnamed as long as court and police records are sealed.
His sister calls it “unfair” that the suspect will not be held accountable for David’s death.
“It’s okay for you to go out and kill someone? And you can get away with it?” asks sister Mary Cruz. “And you can walk around free, and the community is supposed to be safe that way? I don’t think so.”
The family says police identified the key suspect in a closed interview (family members disclosed the name, but WBTA News is withholding that name until such a time when police or court records confirm that claim). The family also says that police told them the shooter was waiting for David Grove when he arrived at 222 West State Street that night. Because of that, the family believes David was “set-up” to be killed.
“But we knew this (“No Bill” ruling) was going to happen, because we hear people talking about how the cops are friends with (the suspect),” Mary Cruz says. Her other theory involves her brother’s criminal record. David Grove had a history of burglaries on his rap sheet, and he’d even been accused of several more break-ins.
“It’s like they don’t even care, because they say, ‘Well we just got another criminal out of the way,’” she says. “But you let another one (the shooter) walk free? I just don’t agree with any of it.”
District Attorney Joe Cardone is disallowed, by law, to release any proceedings or details from the Grand Jury hearing. Likewise, Albion Police have expressed that their case is closed and that no information will be released without a specified court order.
WBTA News has filed a Freedom of Information Law request for the documents pursuant to the police investigation. So far, there has been no response from the Albion Police Department.
In the meantime, David Grove’s family says they will press on in their quest for justice.
“We deserve justice as his family,” said Mary Cruz. “And David’s kids deserve justice for losing their father – they’re going to grow up their entire life, without their father.”