DETROIT (WWJ) – A Wayne State University student was found fatally shot in a vacant lot near the old Packard Plant on Detroit’s east side.
Police have confirmed that the body, discovered Wednesday afternoon, is that of law student Tiane Brown, who’d been missing since Monday night when she was last seen at the school’s library.
Brown, a 33-year-old mother of three, was in her third year of law school at WSU. Her parents called police when she didn’t show up to pick up the kids.
Two “persons of interest” have been taken in for questioning about her death —but police aren’t saying what, if any, connection they have to Brown.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed that Brown was shot to death.
He wouldn’t say if investigators believe it was a random act.
“Students should not be concerned about their safety, however, that doesn’t mean that we should relax … we should be vigilant in being aware of our surroundings,” Craig said.
“We don’t why, at this point, this occurred — why did this happen,” he said, “and that’s where we’re going to need the community’s help.”
Craig said Brown was someone who was “striving to be a key part of this city.”
“This is a tragedy, and we hope that your viewers, your listeners, are angry — because this should not have happened,” Craig said.
WSU President Roy Wilson called Brown a very bright student who held two degrees already — one, a masters in biomedical engineering — and had also started her own nonprofit.
“Tiane’s death is a devastating loss to her family, including her three children, her fellow students, and the entire campus community,” Wilson said in a statement. “She was an exceptional and active student, and our sympathies extend to her parents, children, family and friends. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.”
At a vigil held Wednesday evening on the Wayne State campus, students talked about how Brown will be remembered.
“Tiane was a friend; she’s somebody who’s extremely hardworking,” said one fellow law student, who declined to give his name. “You know, she’s a single mother of three, and she had a whole family of law students behind her, supporting her.
“… What’s happened is tragic,” he said,” and devastating to us all. There’s really no words to describe the loss at this point.”
Wilson said counselors would be made available for those students who need to talk. Those in the WSU community who need assistance may call the WSU’s department of Counseling and Psychological Services at 313-577-3398