WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Police were still trying to determine what led a 74-year-old Michigan woman to shoot her 17-year-old grandson, as dozens of his classmates and relatives gathered Tuesday for the boy’s funeral
Police say Jonathan Hoffman was shot at least five times with a .40-caliber handgun in the suburban Detroit condo he shared with his
His grandmother, Sandra Layne, has been charged with murder. Her attorneys say she shot the teen because she was afraid. They have not said what caused her fear.
On Tuesday, WWJ’s Pat Sweeting reported scores of mourners, any of which appeared to be Hoffman’s high school classmates, crowded the Ira Kaufman Chapel on Tuesday to say their final goodbyes. Classes were cancelled Tuesday at Farmington Central. Dozens of classmates and students from the school joined Hoffman’s parents and other relatives at his funeral in Southfield.
Rabbi Josh Bennett said during Hoffman’s eulogy that it was the teen’s decision to remain in Michigan to complete his senior year at Farmington Central High School and that he recently had been accepted to Eastern Michigan University.
“It’s easy to focus on the tragic end of Jonathan’s life,” Bennett said the funeral. “What happened or what the details may be is not our job as a community of mourners. He really did count. We know that his short life mattered.”
Meantime, police are “still scratching our heads” over what prompted the shooting, Lt. Tim Diamond said.
According to testimony at Layne’s arraignment, Hoffman called 911 on Friday evening and told a dispatcher his grandmother shot him. Police said the woman continued shooting him as he pleaded with the dispatcher for help.
When officers arrived at the family’s condo in West Bloomfield Township, Layne was standing inside a door with the gun. She put it on the floor after officers ordered her to and exclaimed “she had just murdered her grandson,” a detective told the judge.
Layne had recently purchased the weapon but has not told investigators why, Diamond said.
Hoffman was living with his grandparents, while his parents, who live in Arizona, were going through a divorce.
On March 21, officers were called to the condo and found Layne and Hoffman outside arguing. Several days prior, he had been charged in a neighboring community with marijuana possession.
Layne’s attorney said drugs were found in the house on the day Hoffman died, although it’s still unclear if or how that relates to the shooting.
Along with his parents, Michael and Jennifer Hoffman, he is survived by a younger sister, Jessica Hoffman.
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