Shooting victim’s family devastated by loss.

May 8, 2019

Shooting victim’s family devastated by loss.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

MEARS (Oceana County) – Denita Buchanan is heartbroken over the death of her 32-year-old son, William “Billy” Buchanan, Jr., who was allegedly shot and killed by Cory Beekman, 32, of Free Soil Township, April 16, at Beekman’s home on North US 31.

Beekman, who is lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $750,000 cash/surety bond, faces charges of open murder, assault with intent to murder, and two counts of felony firearm.

A woman, who has not yet been identified by law enforcement, was also shot but survived. Two children were in the home at the time of the shooting, but were not physically injured.

“We love him so much and we miss him so much,” Denita said.

Billy was born in Valparaiso, Indiana and grew up in Chesterton and LaPorte. He attended Michigan City High School. He and his family, including dad William, Sr., and big sister Bobbie, enjoyed spending time at their summer home in Mears when he was a boy. They enjoyed it so much, they decided to move there permanently.

“We’ve always had a blast out here, a wonderful time,” she said.

Billy enjoyed motorized sports, like riding quads and dirt bikes. At a very young age, he started racing dirt bikes. He was 8 years old and already competing, his mother fondly recalls. “He loved it, he was very competitive.” Ironically, the first place where he began racing was in Buchanan, Michigan.

“His passion was working on cars; painting cars; and just all-around wrenching in the garage,” she said.

So, of course his love for motorized sports drew him to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes just a few miles from their Mears home.

“It’s so much fun here, and we used to watch Billy on the dunes and loved seeing him smile. We always came up to the dunes as a family.”

Billy had a zest for life and a strong compassion for others. “He loved everybody,” she said. “He was very helpful. He was always helping someone with their car.”

Billy leaves behind a son, Billy III, who is 15 years old. “The highlight of his life was when he had his son,” Denita said. “He taught him how to ride a dirt bike and four-wheeler. He loved his son more than anything. It’s sad what he has to go through, and Billy will never get to see any of his accomplishments in life.”

Billy is also survived by his sister Bobbie Gould, brother-in-law Sam, nephews Craig Buchanan and Cody Gould, Craig’s fiancé Hannah and great niece Aria Buchanan,

Denita has been instructed by investigators not to comment specifically on the murder case against Beekman as it could impede the investigation.

“We will never get to see our son’s smile again. I keep thinking he’s going to come home, but he’s not.”

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