DETROIT (WWJ) – The alleged facts of the case have even hardened criminals saying to shoot a child point-blank to torture her father violates the rules of the street.
Police say this is what happen in Inkster the night of the shooting: Raymone Jackson, 24, walked up and shot 2-year-old Kamiyah Gross point-blank in the head.
A witness said he watched as a man got out of the van, walked across the grass and approached the porch. He said it appeared the gunman targeted the toddler before turning the gun on the other child and the man.
“He shot the little baby point-blank and then he started shooting. I said, ‘He’s killing everybody,’ and I just laid down under the car, and he just casually walked away, got in the van and drove off,” he said. “Point-blank he shot the baby and now she’s dead, for no reason.”
The point, say police, was to torture her father Ken French, before he shot French and another 13-year-old.
Dr. Gerald Shiner, the Chief of Psychiatry at Sinai-Grace Hospital, says even animals would probably not do such a thing.
“Human beings are the most commonly associated with species on species violence,” said Dr. Shiner. “We are more likely to hurt each other than many animals are; dogs don’t do that, primates don’t do that, they certainly don’t do it a lot – they may do it for food or mating but not for random reasons.”
Shiner told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill that people are more complicated emotionally, so it’s easier for something to go wrong during the early parenting process, when humans learn empathy towards each other.
“This violates the code of the street,” he said. “Violence on an innocent bystander – violence on a helpless child touches us all – and it outrages us all.”
Shiner says that an estimated one to two percent of the population has no empathy for others and they are capable of anything.
Other criminals will recognize this fringe element:
“This would have to be someone who as a child was abused or cut off from someone who loved him and raised in an environment where there was just ‘matter of fact’ beatings. No warmth, no tenderness,” Shiner said.
He goes on to say that there is some debate about whether such a criminal can be rehabilitated:
“If you catch these kids young enough, if you can control their environment – you may be able to break through,” he said.
He goes on to say that while it’s not an excuse some people are raised in an environment where they are never held, never had anyone close to them. And that they learn that they are on their own and only deal with people to meet their own needs.
“As a parent you have to provide more than food, clothing and shelter – you have to hold children – you have to be there when they cry, you have to learn how to comfort them.”