DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police say a several recent shootings on the east side, including one that took the life of an 18-year-old girl, are gang related — and they’re coming after the killers.
Police Chief James Craig said investigators believe two gangs are responsible for at least three incidents over a 24-hour period that injured six people, some critically, and killed 18-year-old Aundrea Garland.
Garland was killed around 11 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 16600 block of Edmore, in a neighborhood near 8 Mile and Kelly roads, while hanging around with friends outside. A vehicle with four men inside stopped in front of the house, police said, and one man got out wielding a “high-powered weapon” and opened fire. Witnesses said the rapid shots sounded like they came from a machine gun. Three men — ages 18, 19 and 20 — were injured; two remain in critical condition.
Investigators haven’t yet said how the Edmore shooting might be connected to an incident earlier that day at Eastland Mall, located nearby. In that case, a 22-year-old woman and 30-year-old man, identified as a local rapper, were wounded as they left the mall around 3:30 p.m. near the vacant Sears store. Investigators recovered more than two dozen casings from a large-caliber gun, possibly an assault rifle, and said three or four suspects might be involved.
Police also are investigating whether a third shooting that occurred early Thursday on East State Fair at Kelly Road, in which a 38-year-old man was hurt, is related, the Detroit News reported.
Chief Craig said the gang members are heavily armed and his office is working to dismantle the groups.
“The neighborhood has been under siege by these gang members, and it’s going to stop,” Craig told the newspaper. “We’re going to put forth every ounce of effort to figure out who did this.”
Garland’s mother, Margaret, has a strong message for her daughter’s killers.
“I just want them to know that whoever pulled that trigger last night, I want you to know that you took my baby away from me and I hope you go to hell for what you did to my child,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. “You will reap what you sow, you best believe that, you better believe that. And I hope you don’t never have another good night’s sleep because you took my baby. My baby didn’t deserve that. You didn’t even know my child.”
Craig said “the streets are talking” and he hopes someone will give investigators the tip they’re looking for.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 313-596-2260 or Crime-Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.