DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit’s business community is sharing in the outrage over Monday’s shooting that left a nine-month-old baby dead.
Businessman and president of the newly formed Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce Tony Stovall said there was no reason little Delric Miller had to die. He was sleeping on a couch in the living room of a home on Greenview when a gunman fired 37 shots at the home.
Investigators say the shooting was gang-related and are promising a heavy police presence in the neighborhood, but Stovall expressed a collective frustration over the killing and Detroit crime in general.
“I don’t know what more we need to do to unite as a people and make a difference in the history that you’ll hear about this great city called Detroit,” said Stovall
“I can tell you that crime is hurting my business because people are scared to go shopping, scared to go to their mailbox, that means they’re scared to spend their money at all local businesses. I mean, a nine-month-old baby was killed. What more do we have to do to realize that we’ve got to do something about crime so we can generate our businesses so they can be more viable,” he continued.
Stovall said if people are too scared of crime to leave their homes and visit local businesses, that’s going to keep the local economy from growing.
“I do believe that crime has a lot to do with unemployment. People are going to do what they can to survive, so if the businesses are thriving and we’re hiring, I mean, we can put people to work,” he said.
But Stovall’s calling on the local business community to take things into their own hands. He wants to form a coalition that will look out for the community and try to help protect it from harm.
“We want to start today to be at least Detroit 100 … then we want to encourage the next 200 to join. We want to have 500 businesses to join the black chamber and I guarantee you we will face down whatever issue it may be,” he said.
State and federal lawmakers are now aiding in the search for the killer(s), while the community group Detroit 300 is announcing plans to hunt down the murderer(s), target local gangs and as their president said, “run the undesirables out.”
Meantime, Crime Stoppers is taking anonymous calls at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Anyone who wants to talk with Detroit Police Homicide investigators can call 313-596-2260. A $5,000 reward is being offered.