DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit Fire Department is investigating a possible arson at an east side home, where four people were found shot to death Tuesday night.
Fire officials say the blaze was reported Wednesday at a house on Tacoma, near Hayes and East State Fair, less than 24 hours after the bodies of three young men and one woman were found shot in the back of the head execution-style.
No one was injured in the fire, which was extinguished within an hour.
Officials say the “suspicious” fire appeared to have started in several spots. They believe it was set intentionally.
Meantime, no arrests have been made or suspects named in the four deaths.
The Wayne County medical examiner’s office identified the victims Wednesday as 16-year-old Shawn Bender, 22-year-old Janetta Harris, 28-year-old Jason Koester and 34-year-old Dyrelle Davis. Harris died of multiple gunshot wounds, while the other three were shot in the head, according to the office.
The woman who discovered the bodies said there was an apparent drug raid at the house earlier in the day. Police would not confirming that, but did say the killings may have been drug-related.
The killings were the latest in what has been a particularly violent year in Detroit. The city announced last week that homicides rose this year, reaching 354 through Thanksgiving after totaling 344 for all of 2011.
A new resident on the same block of Tacoma, identifying himself only as Jerome, said the neighborhood is no different from anywhere else in Detroit.
“It’s just a sign of the times, I believe. I mean, the way the city is now … to me it’s just the way society is anyway,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Ron Dewey. “There’s a lot of drugs out here; the economy is bad; there aren’t many jobs … I guess people do what they do to survive.”
If you have any information on this crime you are asked to call Detroit police at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. You can also submit a tip online at www.1800speakup.org, or text “CSM” and your tip to CRIMES (274637).
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