DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police say a sleeping 8-year-old boy was fatally shot overnight in what might be a result of domestic violence.
The incident happened around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday when someone walked up to the back of a townhouse in the 600 block of East Street, near Mack Avenue and I-75, and started shooting into the residence.
Police said the boy — identified by family members as Jakari Pearson — was sleeping in his upstairs bedroom when one of the bullets came through a window and struck him in the chest. Jakari was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Jakari’s mother also received a gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital, although her current condition is unknown.
Sgt. Michael Woody wouldn’t go into details of the shooting, but did say investigators are hot on the gunman’s trail.
“We have a pretty good idea of who it is that we are looking for,” he said. “Unfortunately, we can’t talk too much about that just yet as we are in the very early stages of this investigation. We hope the community continues to talk to us and feeds us information so we can track this individual down and get him into custody very quickly.”
A description of the gunman was not immediately available. Police say a person of interest is being questioned, but is not under arrest.
Neighbors told WWJ’s Mike Campbell they heard about five rapid gunshots. At least three bullet holes were clearly visible on the home.
Sources said the shooting followed a domestic situation between the boy’s mother and a man other than Jakari’s father.
Steven King, who lives in the complex, said he couldn’t believe someone would open fire on a home where a child is sleeping inside.
“It’s just crazy that this would happen, you know, there are so many kids that live over here,” he said. “For someone to shoot into anyone’s home over here, it’s a potential chance that they would hit a kid.”
B’atrice Spears, whose son played baseball with Jakari, said she’ll always remember the boy’s smiling face.
“He was a sweetheart. Every time I seen him, he was always smiling. There was never a time he wasn’t smiling,” she said.
Spears said the unfortunate incident has really brought the community together.
“We’re just neighbors, you know, we might wave and say ‘Hello’ or we might not. But today, it was like we were sisters. I told her I would be there until the end,” she said.
A candlelight vigil will be held at the complex at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to honor Jakari’s memory.
Anyone who has information on the incident is urged to contact police at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.